Double bomb attack hits AKP HQ, ministry building in Ankara

Double bomb attack hits AKP HQ, ministry building in Ankara

ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
Double bomb attack hits AKP HQ, ministry building in Ankara

A Turkish flag was put on the AKP headquarters building to cover the damage caused by the flamethrower attack. AA photo / Mehmet Ali ÖZCAN

One person has been injured in a bomb explosion in front of the Turkish Justice Ministry in Ankara late yesterday, while the Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters in the city was also attacked by a flame thrower. 

Police teams and ambulances were immediately transferred to the scenes after the blasts, with the police taking strict measures in the surrounding area. Police precautions were increased across the city.

One person was injured in a double fragmentation bomb attack somewhere close to the car park of the ministry, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said in a televised interview. The injured individual was the spouse of a ministry employee and was released after treatment, he said.

Interior Minister Muammer Güler said in a televised interview that some equipment of the thrower was found close to the scene and that police were searching the area. 

The minister also confirmed that the attack on the AKP building was probably realized by a flamethrower attack. 

Doğan News Agency reported that the bomb hit a point between the eight and seventh floors, where the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is located.

Erdoğan was in Denmark for an official visit when the attacks happened.

Interior Minister Muammer Güler has denied reports that two people were detained in connection to the attacks.

Attacks aimed at ‘resolution process’: PM

Erdoğan strongly condemned the attacks on March 20 with a statement from Denmark, where he moved from the Netherlands for another official visit. “The target of these attacks, which took place while we were passing through a very sensitive process, are clearly democracy, the resolution process, our national will as well as our fraternity,” he said during his speech at the Turkish-Danish Forum. “Terrorism is evil whatever the target is, however, targeting a political party, the most important element of democracy, national will and pluralism, is much worse.”

Regarding the police investigation, the prime minister told reporters earlier that “Serious information and findings have been gathered,” adding that a more detailed statement would be made later.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said it was possible the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) might have been the culprit.

“Although not being definite, the terror organization DHKP/C may have carried out the attacks,” Arınç said, noting that certain findings suggest the organization might have been involved.

Arınç, however, did not exclude the possibility that the attack was an act of sabotage aimed at the ongoing resolution process, while recalling the killing of three PKK members in Paris on Jan. 9.

“I consider this as an action launched against democracy,” he said.

Separate reports said a written statement carrying the name of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) was left at the scene in front of the ministry. 

Police have been continuing operations against the group since it claimed responsibility for the Feb. 1 suicide attack targeting the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, which killed one person, as well as the attacker, Ecevit Şanlı. 

The attack also comes at a time when the Turkish government is engaged in its process to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.