Kurdish militants have claimed Friday’s attack near a police station in southeast Turkey that killed 11 police officials and injured 78 people. A Kurdish suicide bomber rammed an explosive-filled truck into a checkpoint 50 meters from a main police station close to the majority Kurdish Sirnak province town of Cizre, which borders Syria.
Rebels affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have since claimed the attack, adding to the numerous bombings that have mostly been aimed at police, military vehicles, and facilities. In the television footage captured of the incident, black smoke can be seen coming from the truck as well as serious damage to the three-story police station. Turkish government and allies view the group as terrorists plaguing the country.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim gave a statement in the nation’s capital of Istanbul, in response to the attack saying that “no terrorist organization can take the Turkish Republic hostage.” The Prime Minister has promised to “destroy” the terrorists.
Turkey deploys tanks across the border to reclaim the ISIS-captured town of Jarablus
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reassured the nation that the attacks would not generate fear but rather determination and solidarity against terrorism with which Turkey is confronted both within and outside of its borders. In addition to the PKK’s attacks, the country has also had to defend itself from those orchestrated by the Islamic State coming from neighboring Syria.
As a result, Turkey has deployed tanks across the border to reclaim the ISIS-captured town of Jarablus and to prevent growing Syrian Kurdish militants linked to the PKK. The latter released a statement on their military wing website stating that the attack in Cizre was for the ongoing isolation of their leader Abdullah Ocalan at a prison on an island off Istanbul.
Ocalan has not been allowed visits in over a year and PKK members have not received news on his well-being. The conflict between the PKK and security forces was revived last year following a two-year peace process.
The group also claimed Thursday’s attack in the northeastern province of Artvin on a convoy transporting the leader of the main opposition, Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
The PKK denied allegations that they were targeting the opposition leader saying that they were unaware he was inside the convoy, and that the target was the security forces more than the politician himself.
In addition to PKK bombings, ISIS has claimed terrorist attacks in the country such as the one at a Kurdish wedding that took place last week in southeast Turkey, killing 54 people and another at the Istanbul airport in June taking the lives of 44.
The country is still recovering from last month’s failed coup attempt that killed about 270 people, which government believes was influenced by U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
The conflict in Turkey is one of the factors that may still delay the country’s membership into the European Union, one which they have been trying to secure for years.
Especially because the two nations who have been most against Turkey joining the alliance, France, and Germany, are the ones that have been most affected by terrorist attacks; meaning that it will probably still be a long time before Turkey can be one of the EU members. Contrary to claims made by UK Justice Secretary Michael Gove.
Source: The New York Times