A Turkish court has ordered the arrest of 17 suspects in connection with a deadly street bombing in Istanbul, charging them with attacks on the unity of the state, premeditated murder, and attempted murder.
Turkish court ordered arrests of suspects and deportations
The court released three other suspects from pre-trial detention, Anadolu Agency reported. It also ordered the deportation from Turkey of 29 people detained by police in connection with the terrorist attack.
Deadly explosion in Istanbul
The November 13 blast hit Istanbul’s busy Istiklal Avenue, a famous street lined with shops and restaurants, and killed six people, including two children. More than 80 others were injured.
The attack was a shocking reminder of the bombings in Turkish cities between 2015 and 2017, undermining the sense of security in Istanbul.
Terrorist groups behind the bombing
Turkish authorities blame last weekend’s bombing on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Syrian Kurdish groups affiliated with it. However, groups of Kurdish militants deny any involvement in the attack.
The woman, identified as Ahlam Albashir, allegedly told her investigators that she had illegally entered Turkey and stayed in a house in Istanbul for four months pretending to be a couple with one of the other suspects, Anadolu Agency reported.
According to the news agency, Albashir admitted to leaving a bag with an explosive device on a street bench but claimed she did not know what was in it.
Trial of the terrorists who organized the attack
A trial date is expected to be set after prosecutors prepare an indictment, which could take months.
One suspect was detained by Turkish police last week in the Syrian city of Azaz, now under the control of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition, and was being questioned by police. There is no information about the 29 people who face deportation.
The PKK Kurdish separatist group has been conducting an armed insurgency in Turkey since 1984. Since then, tens of thousands of people have become victims of the armed conflict.
Kurdish separatists claimed responsibility for the bombing
The Kurdish separatist group “Kurdistan Freedom Hawks” claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Istanbul.
At the same time, Turkish law enforcement agencies do not exclude the involvement of other Kurdish separatist organizations, in particular: “The Kurdistan Workers’ Party,” “People’s Self-Defense Units” Syrian Kurdistan (YPG), the Kurdish political party “Democratic Union” (PYD). Because of this, Turkish police have detained more than 200 people in 11 provinces.
What was the purpose of the terrorist attack in Istanbul?
Immediately after the explosion, the Russian pro-Kremlin resource “Readovka” noted several “information leaks” with information about the alleged responsibility for the terrorist attack of the Armenian group “ASALA.”
The purpose of such “information leaks” is to disrupt the signing of the Armenian-Azerbaijan peace agreement mediated by the European Union and France. In September, the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region escalated again and resulted in casualties on both sides.
At the same time, proving the involvement of the YPG, PYD, or other Kurdish organizations in the terrorist attack by Turkish police may affect Sweden and Finland’s decision to deport Kurdish separatist representatives organizations to Turkey.
This is one of the main obstacles in Ankara’s approval of Stockholm and Helsinki applications for NATO membership.