Sunday, January 13, 2008

Istanbul bombs, thwarted, exploded

I had done most of the work on this post while I was at home, but stopped to socialise and forgot I hadn't posted it. Just before New Year in Istanbul, one bomb attack was thwarted, but another exploded.

Collating TurkishPress and AP, CNN and VOA news reports, it appears that on the 24th of December 2007, Turkish police caught a man carrying fake identity and a bag (a black backpack) with 3.5 kilograms of plastic explosives, a mobile phone detonator and steel ball shrapnel in it, near either a bus or a subway station (or, according to CNN, 'near a ticket stand') in Mecidiyeköy neighbourhood, Şişli district, İstanbul.

NTV reported 'three suspects' were taken by anti-terrorist police, but Istanbul Governor Muammer Güler mentioned only one other man to the Associated Press (AP), though he did note that 'a woman and two children living in the apartment [raided] were being questioned', which was, according to CNN, in New Bosnia, Yenibosna district.

TurkishPress noted only that 'PKK terrorists and various underground left-wing groups are active in Istanbul' and the Associated Press that '[m]ilitant Kurdish, leftist and Islamic groups have carried out bombings in big cities and in resort towns in Turkey'.

Voice of America (VOA) News and CNN said likewise, but they both pointed out that no-one made any direct claims about the suspects' 'identity' or 'organization', while Governor Muammer Güler opined that the suspect 'may be a member of a separatist terrorist organization' (a euphemism for the PKK).

The Associated Press (AP), Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) relayed that, on the 25th of December 2007, a homemade percussion bomb ('which makes a very loud noise but contains only a light amount of explosives') exploded.

It had been placed in a rubbish bin near a police station in Sefaköy district, Küçükçekmece municipality, Istanbul, near Atatürk International Airport, with earlier reports mentioning two with slight injuries, but the AFP recording 'seven people [injured], one of them seriously'. Again, there was 'no immediate responsibility claim', Reuters observing that '39 cars were set ablaze in Istanbul alone' on the 24th of December.

On the 27th of December 2007, Sebnem Arsu relayed that 'a commander in the mountains' was quoted opining that, '"[m]aybe during winter an appropriate response is not possible, but they shouldn't forget that when leaves turn green, the dreams that the Turkish state has been dreaming will turn into a nightmare"... by the Firat News Agency on Monday.'

If an organisation, like the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (PKK)), the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons/Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (Teyrêbazên Azadiya Kurdistan (TAK)), or the Turkish Revenge Brigade (Türk İntikam Tugayı (TİT)), had committed the bombing, it would probably have claimed responsibility for it. If the police had known of any links he might have had with Kurdish nationalist extremist organisations, they would definitely have given them.

No comments:

Post a Comment