Istanbul: Turkish interior minister Suleyman Soylu on Monday said that pieces of evidence show that PKK/YPG terrorist group is responsible for the attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal Street, Anadolu Agency reported. He said that the person who planted the bomb on Istiklal Street that killed eight people and injured 81 others has been arrested.
Terming it a “terror attack,” Suleyman Soylu said that their assessment is that the attack came from Ayn al-Arab in Syria, where the Syrian headquarters of PKK/YPG is located. He asserted that Turkey will continue with its “resolute and rightful war” against terror. He committed that Turkey will “retaliate” against those who are behind the attack. Turkey has designated the PKK or Kurdistan Workers Party as a terrorist organization and the YPG is its Syrian offshoot.
“Our assessment is that the order for the deadly terror attack came from Ayn al-Arab in northern Syria, where the PKK/YPG has its Syrian headquarters,” Anadolu Agency quoted Suleyman Soylu as saying “We will retaliate against those who are responsible for this heinous terror attack,” he added. As per the Anadolu Agency report, five people continue to remain in the intensive care unit and two of the injured are in critical condition.
50 of those injured have been discharged from the hospital. Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said that blast took place around 4:20 pm (local time). Yerlikaya said that police and emergency officials have cordoned off the site of the attack. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that people have been killed and injured in the explosion at Istiklal Street.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of his departure for Indonesia to attend the G20 Summit, Erdogan said that relevant units of Turkey are carrying out work to find the perpetrators responsible for the attack. He asserted that attempts to make Turkey surrender through terror will “never” succeed.
“Relevant units of our state are carrying out works to find out the perpetrators of this heinous attack as well as the circles behind it. Attempts to make Turkey and the Turkish nation surrender through terror never have and never will succeed,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a press conference.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay termed the explosion at Istiklal Street as a “terrorist attack.” Oktay said that a woman detonated the bomb at Istiklal Street, Anadolu Agency reported. Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said that a woman sat on one of the benches on the street for over 40 minutes and the blast took place just minutes after she got up. Bozdag said that an investigation is being carried out into the explosion.
India offered condolences to the Turkish government and the people on the loss of lives in the blast in Turkey. The Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted, “India conveys its deepest condolences to the Government and people of Turkiye on the tragic loss of lives in the blast that took place in Istanbul today. Our sympathies are also with those who sustained injuries. We wish them a speedy recovery.”
The United States has condemned the attack in Istanbul. Issuing a statement regarding the explosion, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “the United States strongly condemns the act of violence that took place today in Istanbul, Turkey. Our thoughts are with those who were injured and our deepest condolences go to those who lost loved ones. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our NATO Ally Turkey in countering terrorism.”