Istanbul bombing

Turkey blames deadly Istanbul blast on PKK, arrests 46 people

Six Turkish citizens, two members each of three families, were killed in the attack. (Photo: AFP)

Turkey's interior minister has blamed the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) for an explosion on a crowded boulevard in Istanbul that killed six and injured dozens.

Police in Istanbul reported that 46 people had been arrested in connection with the incident, including a woman accused of planting the device.

The authorities stated that Ahlam Albashir was a Syrian national who admitted to receiving training from Kurdish insurgents.

Suleyman Soylu, the minister of the interior, stated that the order for the attack on Istiklal Avenue originated in Kobane, a city in northern Syria where Turkish soldiers have conducted operations against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in recent years.

Soyyut Soylu stated, "According to our findings, the PKK terrorist organization is responsible."

Turkey considers the YPG as an extension of the PKK, with whom it has been engaged in a three-decade-long, bloody conflict.

Soylu stated that Albashir had traveled through the northern Syrian area of Afrin en route to Istanbul.

Following his original statement, Soylu stated in a live television interview from Istiklal Avenue on Monday morning that Albashir could have fled to Greece if she had not been apprehended.

The minister further stated that a phone tap revealed that the PKK had ordered the assassination of Albashir following the attack and that the individual assigned to assassinate her had been apprehended.

In recent months, Ankara has expanded its drone attacks and operations against the PKK leadership in Syria and Iraq, killing several individuals, from mid-level officials to leaders.

Multiple Turkish military operations in northern Iraq have driven the PKK southward.

Six Turkish residents were killed in the incident, two from each of three families. To date, no group has claimed credit.

Television news reports depicted what looked to be a woman putting a parcel behind a raised flower bed on the historic Istiklal Avenue, a famous shopping and tourist area with a tramline running the length of the street.

The suspect possessed a firearm, ammo, a significant amount of cash, and gold, as evidenced by surveillance footage released by the Istanbul police.

According to reports, law enforcement traced Albashir using facial recognition software and GPS data. They claimed that TNT was used to construct the device.

The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) expressed regret over the explosion and the loss of life in a statement released on Sunday.

The imprisoned former chairman of the HDP, Selahattin Demirtas, who is seen as the party's natural leader, condemned the terrorist attack on Istiklal Street with tougher language on Twitter: "I denounce the act of terrorism that openly targets innocent civilians on Istiklal Street.

I pray for God's mercy on the deceased, my condolences to their loved ones, and a swift recovery for the injured.

"Regardless of intent or justification, any act against civilians constitutes terrorism. We never tolerate"

US criticized

Several countries, including the United States, the European Union, Egypt, Ukraine, and Greece, condemned the incident and expressed their condolences to the victims.

Turkish authorities attributed the explosion to Washington and others' assistance for the YPG.

The director of communications for the presidency, Fahrettin Altun, stated that such acts are "direct and indirect outcomes of some nations' backing for terrorist organizations."

Soylu compared the US condolences to "the killer being one of the first to arrive at the crime site."

The attack on Sunday resulted in the release of fifty individuals from the hospital, sparking fears that Turkey could be subjected to other bombings and attacks similar to those it endured between mid-2015 and 2017.

Two of the five victims being treated in intensive care for Sunday's injuries were in critical condition, according to the Istanbul Governor's office. They were among the 31 still hospitalized and wounded.

Hundreds of people left the Boulevard on Sunday following the explosion, as police and paramedics arrived. The neighborhood in the Beyoglu district of the largest city in Turkey was as packed as usual on the weekend.

Since 1984, the PKK has led an insurgency against the Turkish government, resulting in the deaths of over 40,000 people. Turkey, the European Union, and the United States classify it as a terrorist group.

Publish : 2022-11-14 15:01:00

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