Turkey Hit by Wave of Attacks as It Continues Mideast Military Strikes

By Anne Koopman | ( Global Voices Online) | – –

At least nine people fell victim to a spate of attacks in the Turkey's largest city Istanbul and the south-eastern province Sirnak on August 10. As the country gets knee-deep in the Middle East crisis, the fear of more attacks is pervasive.

Ever since Turkey launched military operations backed by lethal U.S. drone strikes in Iraq and Syria last month it has been beset by a series of small attacks in which at least 20 security officers have been killed as well as dozens of ethnic Kurds.

The focal points of Turkey's military attacks have been fighters belonging to the radical group ISIS and — increasingly — forces loyal to Ankara's old enemy the Kurdish Worker's Party (PKK).

It was a bomb blast in Turkey's eastern town of Suruc on July 20, killing 33 people, that served as the trigger for the country to become involved in a conflict it had previously stayed neutral towards.

A bomb attack at a police station in Istanbul in the early hours of August 10 injured three policemen and seven civilians. A fire caused by the bomb destroyed part of the building. The Istanbul governor’s office said the suspected bomber was killed during the explosion. Kurdish militants from the PKK later claimed the attack.

Pictures published and spread on Twitter show the aftermath of the attack.

Later on Monday two gunmen — reportedly women — opened fire on police investigating the scene of the earlier bomb attack. Ensuing gunfire led to the death of a police officer and at least two others.

Meanwhile a roadside bomb in Sirnak killed four policemen and in a separate attack a soldier was killed when a gunmen fired at a military helicopter.

On the same day, the U.S. Consulate was also attacked by two assailants. The attack was claimed by DHKP-C in a statement on their website. They described the United States as the “chief enemy of people in the Middle East and in the world”.

Pictures tweeted by @metesohtaoglu show the aftermath of the attack.

Tweets circulating the internet identify one of the suspects as Hatice Aşık, a far-leftist militant women from the DHKP-C. She was reportedly shot and arrested.

Asik had been released from jail only 33 days ago. She had been in prison for three years and was released as she awaited the verdict in a trial regarding her alleged participation in a bomb attack on a police station in Yenibosna, Istanbul, in 2012.

According to an eyewitness the second woman escaped the scene.

The U.S. Embassy in Turkey subsequently said the ‘security incident’ at the U.S. Consulate did not lead to wounded among personnel or customers.

The Consulate was closed for the rest of the day and reopened one day after the attacks on August 11.

Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, expressed in an official statement “his deepest sympathies with the victims” of the attacks, “as well as with the Government and people of Turkey.” He says he hopes the attackers “will be swiftly brought to justice.”

After weeks of drone airstrikes on ISIS in Syria, the U.S. launched the first manned airstrikes from a base in Turkey against ISIS forces on August 12, only two days after the attacks in Turkey took place.

Via Global Voices Online


Related video added by Juan Cole:

Turkey: ‘no concessions’ in attacks on PKK | DW News

Posted in Iraq,Kurds,PKK,Turkey | 3 Responses | Print |

3 Responses

  1. the second article from todayszaman

    I made a mistake so need to post a second comment

    Why aren’t Islamists condemning ISIL?

    The whole world is discussing the brutality committed by bloody terrorist organization the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). These murderers commit crimes against humanity to intimidate people in the region and to attract global attention. They are employing cruelty and barbaric methods that a human mind cannot even consider. With the exception of politically cliché statements like “Muslims cannot be terrorists” and “ISIL’s activities cannot be endorsed,” the Muslim world has not strongly responded to these brutalities.

    the link

    link to todayszaman.com

    • At least in Turkey it’s because they’re sympathetic. The government is not simply Islamist, it’s Sunni and considers Shia, Alevis, Alawites, as infidels. As with the Gulen movement (and the Kurds until they had the temerity to vote for their own party), the KacAK Saray will make common cause with anyone who can further the cause of a reunified Sunni empire; such is Neo-Ottomanism.

  2. I do not agree with the tone of this article. The focus of turkish airstrikes did not increasingly shift, from ISIL to PKK after those bombings, but were the main actions the turkish gouvernment considered an apropriate reaction to the preceding bombing in suruc, which targeted the kurdish community on turkish ground. Furthermore the gathering that had been attacked, was something we’d call an charity event (without tax saving millionaires) that had the purpose of providing aid to the inhabitants, of kobane. This enclave in ISIS territory and it’s people had been under the threat of extermination the months before, whilst Erdogan figured it to be more purposefull to, hinder Kurdish fighters from defending the population and provide a more than leaking border to ISIL, what gained the turkish-syrian border the pretty stupid name “jihad highway”. Telling a story that frames, a non existant shift from bombing ISIL to bombing the PKK as a mere rational and justifiable reaction to kurdish aggression is either extremely ignorant or a blatant ly.

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