Turkey arrests woman, blames PKK for Istanbul bombing

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Istanbul, Turkey, (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News – November 15, 2022): Turkey on Monday accused a woman of planting a bomb that killed six people in Istanbul, accusing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of having perpetrated the attack.

Two girls, aged 9 and 15, were among those killed when the bomb exploded shortly after 4:00 p.m. (1300 GMT) on Sunday on Istiklal Avenue, which is home to chic boutiques and European consulates. More than 80 other people were injured.

“The person who planted the bomb has been arrested,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in a statement carried by the state-run Anadolu news agency on Monday.

“According to our findings, the PKK terrorist organization is responsible,” Soylu said.

The PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies, has been waging a deadly insurgency for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey since the 1980s.

He denied any role in the latest attack.

“There is no connection between the PKK and yesterday’s explosion in Istanbul,” the group’s spokesman told AFP.

A Turkish official told AFP that the first findings pointed to “units within a youth organization affiliated with the PKK”. Police, quoted by private broadcaster NTV, said the main suspect is a Syrian woman working for Kurdish militants. Forty-six people were arrested in total, police said.

Police footage shared with Turkish media shows a young woman wearing a purple sweatshirt being apprehended in an Istanbul apartment.

Police, quoted by NTV, named her Alham Albashir and said she was arrested at 2:50 a.m. in an Istanbul suburb. Local media said she was a 23-year-old trained PKK intelligence officer.

– ‘Deeply sad’ – Turkey buried the victims on Monday.

“Of course we are deeply saddened. A young teacher and her daughter who fell victim to such a treacherous attack left us deeply upset,” said Orhan Akkaya, a relative of a mother and her 15-year-old daughter killed in the incident. offensive.

Grieving father Nurettin Ucar wept over his daughter’s Turkish flag-wrapped coffin.

No liability has been claimed.

“We believe the order for the attack was given from Kobane,” Soylu said, referring to a town in Syria near the Turkish border.

Kurdish militants affiliated with the PKK control most of northeastern Syria, and in 2015 Kurdish fighters drove Islamic State jihadists out of the city.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also denied any role in the attack.

“Our forces have nothing to do with the Istanbul bombing,” said Mazloum Abdi, the commander-in-chief of the US-allied SDF.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told A Haber TV that a woman had been sitting on a bench for more than 40 minutes, “then she got up”, leaving a bag.

“A minute or two later an explosion occurred,” he said.

On Monday, all benches had been removed from Istiklal Avenue, where residents laid red carnations at the scene of the blast, some wiping away tears and others speaking of their fear of further attacks as the police approached. elections next June.

“We need more security! said Idris Cetinkaya, who works at a nearby hotel and came to pay his respects.

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