On October 2, Turkey carried out airstrikes in northern Iraq and arrested suspects in Istanbul after a bomb attack in Ankara.
Turkey took action in response to a bomb attack in Ankara claimed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a militant group. Two attackers detonated a bomb near government buildings in the capital, killing both of them and injuring two police officers in it.
CCTV footage showed a vehicle approaching the interior ministry’s main gate in Ankara, where one person quickly walked towards the building and triggered an explosion. One attacker died in the blast, and security forces killed the other. The attack happened in a district with government ministries and the parliament, coinciding with the reopening of the assembly.
One of the attackers was identified as a PKK member, while the other’s identity was under investigation. Explosives, grenades, a rocket launcher, and various firearms were found at the scene.
A Turkish official mentioned that the attackers had hijacked the vehicle and killed its driver in Kayseri, a city southeast of Ankara.
In northern Iraq, Turkey conducted airstrikes targeting the PKK. These strikes destroyed 20 targets, including caves, shelters, and storage areas used by the PKK in various regions.
The PKK has been designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union. In 1984, it began a revolt in southeast Turkey that cost more than 40,000 lives.
Following the attack, counter-terrorism police detained 20 people in raids targeting individuals linked to the PKK in Istanbul and other locations. Among those arrested were a provincial Kurdish spokesperson and district leaders of a pro-Kurdish political party.
The PKK claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that a team from its Immortals Battalion unit carried it out. This bombing was the first in Ankara since 2016 when there were multiple attacks in Turkish cities claimed by Kurdish militants, ISIS, and other groups.
In recent years, Turkey’s armed forces have conducted significant military operations in northern Iraq and Syria against Kurdish militants.
President Tayyip Erdogan affirmed Turkey’s strategy of maintaining a “security strip” of 30 kilometers (19 miles) along its southern borders with Syria and Iraq.
Past attacks in Turkey, such as the explosion in central Istanbul that killed six people and injured 81, with Kurdish militants being blamed for that incident.
Turkish parliament is expected to consider Sweden’s bid to join NATO in the coming weeks. Erdogan emphasized the importance of agreeing on a new constitution during the new session.
European Council President Charles Michel condemned the attack, and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi expressed support for Turkey in its fight against terrorism. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar also condemned the terrorist attack and expressed solidarity with Turkey in the fight against terrorism.