Turkish police detain four over possible ‘May Day attack’ in Turkish capital
ANKARAAnkara police detained four suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) members for preparing to launch an attack during the May 1 International Workers’ Day demonstrations in the capital, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency has quoted security officials as saying.
The Ankara anti-terror department detained the four suspects at midnight on April 30, the agency reported.
The arrests followed technical and physical surveillance, and reports suggest the detainees are from Syria.
Anti-terror operations will continue, say police.
Meanwhile, the organization committee for the May 1 celebrations in the southern province of Adana decided to cancel the rally late on April 30 after local heads of the Eğitim-Sen education union said they received intelligence on an imminent suicide attack.
The Adana police headquarters have warned police teams to be extra cautious about suspicious persons and vehicles throughout the day.
The celebrations in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa have also been cancelled.
Turkey, and specifically Ankara, has been subject to major bomb attacks in recent months.
An alleged member of ISIL suspected of involvement in the Ankara bombing that killed 103 people on Oct. 10, 2015, was caught in the eastern province Elazığ on April 21. The Oct. 10 bombing was the largest terror attack in Turkey.
On Feb 17, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a terror group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), carried out a suicide car bomb attack on military shuttles, killing at least 30.
Finally, another car bomb attack targeted the country’s capital on March 13 and killed 36 citizens in the central Kızılay Square. TAK claimed responsibility for the blast in a statement on its website on March 17, while the suicide bomber was identified as Seher Çağla Demir, who was a PKK member born in 1992, according to the Interior Ministry. She allegedly received training with the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the military wing of Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD), after crossing into Syria.