Three parties gather to talk anti-terror measures

Three parties gather to talk anti-terror measures

Three parties gather to talk anti-terror measures

AFP photo

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım will meet with opposition party leaders on Dec. 14 to discuss the terrorist attack in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district over the weekend, which killed 44 people and wounded over 100. 

Yıldırım is expected to host main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli at the Prime Ministry’s Çankaya Mansion in Ankara, in a meeting scheduled to start at 10.30 a.m. 

The meeting comes as more details emerge about the Dec. 10 attack. 

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said after a cabinet meeting on Dec. 12 that the explosives used in the deadly bomb attack carried out by outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants “are not ordinary ammunition.” 

“The pothole [created by the explosion] is very wide and deep. All kinds of technical investigations are being conducted to probe this, with the slightest details taken into consideration. It is understood that the ammunition used is not ordinary,” Kurtulmuş said. 

Istanbul police probing the attacks also said that in addition to the explosives of TNT and RDX, the militants also used a third kind of explosive in the mix that did not appear to be familiar to the types of explosives that have previously been encountered. Police also said the material played a role in increasing the impact of the explosion. 

Meanwhile, according to initial police inspections, the vehicle was identified as a black Chevrolet car that was first bought from the Büyükçekmece district of Istanbul on Nov. 9 and then bought second-hand at a notary in the Kartal district of Istanbul on Dec. 6. 

Reports added that the vehicle, under the control of two militants, one of which was a female, headed from the Bağcılar district to Vatan Street in the Fatih district, where the Istanbul police headquarters are located. The militants reportedly first considered targeting the headquarters but then switched their target due to high security measures in the area. 

After the militants arrived at the scene near the stadium, the female militant who was driving the vehicle dropped off the male militant, who walked toward Maçka Park, where the second bombing occurred. Police reportedly noticed the suspicious vehicle but before they could act, the female militant blew the car up at 10:27 p.m. while it was mobile.

After police urged colleagues to be vigilant of a second potential attack targeting police gathering in the park, six officers noticed the male militant and surrounded him to prevent his advance, prompting the attacker to detonate his explosives and kill all six officers. Reports also revealed that both the explosives in the car and on the second bomber had two detonation systems, one manual and one remote, raising suspicions that the assailants might have been observed from a distance by other militants coordinating the attack.

Demonstrations ongoing

Meanwhile, demonstrations on Dec. 13 were ongoing by crowds hitting the streets in condemnation of the twin bombings. In Istanbul, representatives of Kamu-Sen, a federation that brings together 13 unions, visited the site of the attack, leaving flowers and commemorating the victims.

In the capital Ankara, university students staged a large march to condemn the attacks. The students started their march from Ankara University’s Cebeci campus, handing flowers to police officers and conveying their solidarity with the security forces along the way.