PKK responsible for Bursa suicide bomb attack: Interior minister

PKK responsible for Bursa suicide bomb attack: Interior minister

PKK responsible for Bursa suicide bomb attack: Interior minister

People watch as police try to cordon off the site of a bombing, in Bursa, northwestern Turkey, on April 27, 2016 - AFP photo

Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala has said the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is responsible for the April 27 suicide attack in Bursa, a day after a group affiliated with the PKK claimed the attack, saying the assailant failed to reach her intended target.

“The person who conducted the terror attack in Bursa is Eser Çali, a member of the PKK separatist terror organization born in 1992 and registered to the Aralık district of Iğdır province,” Ala told reporters on May 2 in the capital Ankara.

The attack on the evening of April 27 near Bursa’s famed 14th century Grand Mosque wounded 13 people but caused no fatalities other than the female suicide bomber herself. The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) said in a statement on its website that one of its members had carried out the attack.

It said the bomber was a 23-year-old woman named Eser Çali and the attack was aimed at “avenging” the Turkish government’s current security operations in southeastern provinces. 

The statement added that the bomber had detonated her charge and been killed “due an accident before she reached the target, which was to be realized to account for the massacres against our people.”   

It did not give details on the nature of the intended target but denied Çali was planning to attack the Grand Mosque in the center of Bursa, Turkey’s former Ottoman capital.

The TAK also claimed two attacks that killed dozens of people in the capital Ankara in February and March.

Eser Çali’s father Salih Çali, living in the eastern province of Iğdır, commented on his daughter’s suicide attack, saying she “wasted herself.” 

A former university student in Ankara

“My daughter reportedly joined the organization when she was in her third year at Ankara University’s Faculty of Languages, History and Geography. The police showed me the photo of my daughter and asked me whether she was my daughter. I told them that she was and went to Ankara,” Çali told the Doğan News Agency on May 2, adding that he had been unable to reach his daughter despite asking her friends and searching for her. 

“The last time I spoke to her on the phone was in April 2012. After then we never heard from her,” he said. 
Expressing “sadness” about his daughter’s decision to become a suicide bomber, Çali claimed that she “would not do anybody any harm.” 

“If the state gives me her dead body, I’ll take it,” he also said.

Meanwhile, one soldier was killed late on May 1 in a PKK car bomb attack in the Dicle district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

PKK militants detonated a bomb-laden car at the entrance of the Dicle district gendarmerie battalion command post. One soldier was killed and 23 others, including children, were wounded. Those injured were taken to Diyarbakır Military Hospital, with three reported to be in critical condition.

Many houses, shops and vehicles near the district were also damaged due to the attack, which is believed to have been carried out with around two tons of bombs.

An armed clash erupted between security forces and PKK militants following the attack, as an air-supported operation continued in the district. 

Another four officers were wounded in a separate armed attack on the Dicle-Hani motorway targeting police forces. It came after security forces stopped a suspicious car on the motorway following the attack in Dicle, but those inside the car opened fire on security personnel.

Hani’s chief police officer, along with two police officers and a female judge inside the police vehicle were injured in the attack.

In another incident, one worker was wounded in a gun attack by the PKK in the Black Sea province of Giresun on May 2.

PKK militants opened fire with long-barreled weapons on workers who were driving near a Hydro-electric power plant (HES) construction site in the Doğankent district at around 11 p.m. 

Adil Bülbül was heavily wounded in his chest while the driver of the pickup, Mehmet Ali Kara, escaped the attack without injuries. Bülbül was rushed to the Doğankent State Hospital under security measures.

Gendarmerie teams have conducted a wide-scale operation in the region to apprehend the PKK militants responsible for the attack.