At least 50 suspects have been arrested in connection with the Istanbul bombing that killed six people and wounded dozens of others on Sunday.
Have the perpetrators been identified?
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and associated Syrian Kurdish factions were named by Turkish authorities as the perpetrators. Several hours after the explosion, police conducted raids in Istanbul and apprehended 48 people, including a Syrian lady who is accused of placing a bomb containing TNT near Istiklal. Identified as Ahlam Albashir, the lady admitted to carrying out the attack and had entered Turkey illegally from Syria, the police say.
Did the PKK admit involvement?
No, it did not. Though involved in an armed insurgency in Turkey since 1984, the Kurdish militants have denied involvement in the latest attack. Bekir Bozdag, the Minister of Justice, stated on Tuesday that there are now 50 individuals in detention. Two brothers, Ammar J. and Ahmed J. were detained by police on Tuesday, according to the government-run Anadolu Agency. Following the attack, Ammar J. allegedly assisted Albashir in leaving Istanbul for neighboring Greece, while Ahmed J. allegedly drove a suspect who is still at large to the Edirne province, close to the Bulgarian border, according to Anadolu.
“Turkey continues with its fight against terrorism with determination. No terrorist organization will succeed in any kind of plot against Turkey”, Bozdag said, according to T24, an independent news website. While both Turkey and the United States regard the Kurdish militants as terrorists, Ankara and Washington are divided over the US support for the Syrian arm of the group.