Blast car was not checked at Syrian gate, Turkish PM says
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Hürriyet photo
A car that killed 14 people when it exploded at the Turkish-Syrian border yesterday was not inspected on the Syrian side of the frontier, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today in an address to his party.
No checks were made because the Syrian side is not operating, meaning no inspections are performed there, he said.
The car blast at the Cilvegözü-Bab al-Hawa border gate killed 14 people, including three Turks, and wounding nearly 30 people, Interior Minister Muammer Güler said today.
The area where the explosion took place is used only for the transportation of humanitarian aid to Syrians affected by the country’s civil war, the prime minister said, dismissing all speculation on the incident as “false and malicious.”
Those who see the explosion as an opportunity to make political gains are not acting with their conscience, he said, adding that all security measures were being taken on the Turkish side.
Erdoğan said the Turkey-Syria border was drawn “with a ruler a hundred years ago,” dividing up villages and towns. “It is not possible for Turkey to remain unaffected by incidents happening in Syria,” Erdoğan added.
“We will wait in patience and common sense for the revelation of the incident. When it is revealed, we will do whatever necessary,” he said, adding that he had sent ministers to the ground immediately after the explosion occurred.
This is a terror attack: Davutoğlu
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has strongly reacted to criticisms expressed by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. “The Cilvegözü attack should be condemned vigorously. [The CHP’s] criticism is a weakness in regards to political culture. This is a terror attack, an attack against all of us. Therefore, nobody should intend to take political income over it,” Davutoğlu told reporters during a press conference in Ankara on Feb. 12.
Davutoğlu also emphasized that the Cilvegözü-Bab al-Hawa border gate was the main point of entry for international aid to Syria. “All our security units are working to determine who was behind the attack and what kind of network they are operating within. We will have a clearer picture after the required investigations [are completed],” he said.