PKK behind car bomb attacks in Istanbul, Mardin: Turkish PM
REUTERS photoThe outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is behind car bomb attacks that hit Turkey on June 7 and on June 8, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, pledging to continue a “relentless struggle” against the outlawed group.
“PKK. It is the murderer PKK organization,” Yıldırım said in response to a reporter’s question inquiring whether there were any leads on which terror organization was behind the attack that killed 11 in Istanbul on June 7.
“This did not surprise us but the circle around them is gradually tightening,” the prime minister said.
Yıldırım also provided detailed information on a car bomb attack targeting the police headquarters in the Midyat district of the southeastern province of Mardin on June 8 morning that killed five people and wounded more than 30.
“We will continue our crackdown with determination, both in cities and in rural areas,” he said during a visit to victims of the attack receiving treatment at the Haseki Research and Training Hospital in Istanbul.
Bomb attack in Mardin
Yıldırım also provided detailed information on a car bomb attack targeting the police headquarters in the Midyat district of the southeastern province of Mardin on the morning of June 8 that killed five people and wounded around 30.
Safety measures and barricades prevented a much higher death toll, Yıldırım said, while announcing that one police officer and two civilians were killed in the attack. The figure later rose as a second police officer succumbed to his wounds.
A number of ambulances and security reinforcements were sent to the scene after the attack, which took place at around 11 a.m.
The bomb-laden car, which arrived in Midyat from the southeastern province of Batman carrying 500 kilograms of explosives, sought to enter the headquarters, but was stopped by the police.
The car exploded when police opened fire to stop it, reported Doğan News Agency.
A fire erupted after the explosion and surrounding buildings were also damaged in the blast.
The Health Ministry called on doctors in the province to perform their duties.
‘Unjust accusations’ against police
In his remarks following a visit to the Istanbul hospital, the prime minister also criticized “unjust accusations” targeting the law enforcement agency in a number of media outlets, arguing that police forces had prevented hundreds of similar attacks that citizens had never even learned about.
“Our part is to ensure the high morale of our heroic security forces,” Yıldırım said, asking citizens to further support the police, gendarmerie and soldiers.
“In front of you, behind you, to your left and right, there are murderers who look like you, like us – disguised as human beings,” the prime minister added, stressing that it required sensitive efforts to prevent attacks by such persons.
Yıldırım also visited the Beyazıt police station in Vezneciler and addressed police officers through a walkie-talkie, saying he was certain the security forces would “punish the murderers as they deserve.”
“We know you prevent hundreds of incidents like this every day. But we cannot announce these to avoid worrying our citizens,” he added.
Turkey has suffered a spate of bombings this year, including two suicide attacks in tourist areas of Istanbul blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and two car bombings in Ankara, which were claimed by an offshoot of the PKK, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK).