- Turkey’s interior minister criticizes the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan.
- A suspect had been apprehended by the early hours of Monday.
- Six people were killed in the explosion that leveled Istiklal Street.
ISTANBUL – Turkey, interior minister announced on Monday that a suspect had been apprehended and blamed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for an explosion that killed six people in a busy Istanbul retail center.
On Sunday afternoon, an explosion ripped through Istiklal Street, a popular tourist and local shopping district, wounding many people.
A suspect had been apprehended by the early hours of Monday.
The interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, declared in a statement released by the official Anadolu news agency that “the person who planted the device has been apprehended.”
According to our investigations, the PKK terrorist group is responsible,” he said.
Since the 1980s, the PKK has waged a lethal insurgency for Kurdish self-rule in southeast Turkey. The PKK has been recognized as a terrorist group by both Ankara and its Western partners.
The PKK is regularly the target of Turkish military operations, and it is also at the heart of a disagreement between Sweden and Turkey, which has blocked Stockholm’s NATO membership since May on the grounds that Stockholm has been too tolerant toward the PKK.
The president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, condemned the vile attack on Istiklal.
At a press conference on Sunday, Erdogan said, It might be wrong if we say for certain that this is terror, but according to the early signals… there is a fragrance of misery there.
We believe it is a terrorist act carried out by an attacker, whom we believe to be a woman, who ignited the device, said Fuat Oktay, Turkey’s vice president.
A woman had been sitting on one of the benches for more than 40 minutes before she got up, said Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag.
He told A Haber television that the explosion happened one or two minutes afterwards.
He stated that there are two options. This bag either explodes due to an internal mechanism or is remotely detonated by someone.
He stated that all of this woman’s data is currently being evaluated.
Soylu’s declaration revealed no more details about the woman.
Panic And Upheaval
Previously, extremists and other groups targeted Turkish cities.
Istiklal Street was targeted during an attack campaign in 2015-2016 that targeted Istanbul and other cities, including Ankara.
Nearly 500 people were killed and nearly 2,000 were injured in the bombings, which were blamed mostly on the Daesh terrorist organization and illegal Kurdish forces.
On Sunday, shortly after 4:00 p.m. (1300 GMT), an explosion occurred on the well-known commercial strip.
Following the incident, helicopters flew above the city center. To prevent a second explosion, authorities established a large security perimeter around the location.
According to social media posts, the explosion was followed by flames, which produced fear and sent people fleeing in all directions.
There were more bodies on the ground nearby.
I was between 50 and 55 meters away when I heard an explosion. I saw three or four people lying on the floor, 57-year-old witness Cemal Denizci told AFP.
People were fleeing in fear. It generated quite a commotion. There was black smoke present, he claims.
located in the Beyoglu old district, is one of Istanbul’s most well-known thoroughfares. It is completely pedestrianized for around one mile (1.4 kilometers).
It is popular on weekends because it is crisscrossed by an antique tramway and includes a large strip of shops and restaurants.
While several bystanders fleeing away from the explosion site had tears in their eyes, numerous establishments in the surrounding Galata district shuttered early.
A large security presence barred all exits, and police and rescue personnel were present.
Turkey’s radio and television authority, RTUK, restricted broadcasters from airing footage of the explosion, a step that has previously been done following terrorist attacks.
Access to social media was also restricted following the attack.
Greece quickly responded, “unequivocally” condemning the explosion and expressing its condolences to Turkey’s leadership and people.
We stand shoulder to shoulder with our NATO Ally Turkey in combating terrorism, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated. It was also denounced by the United States.
We feel your sorrow, writes French President Emmanuel Macron in a message to Turks. We stand with you in your fight against terrorism.
Shook by news of the despicable incident in Istanbul targeting innocent persons, Israeli President Isaac Herzog tweeted in Turkish and English. To fight terror, the entire world must band together and stand firm.
The anguish of the brotherly Turkish people is our pain, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted in Turkish.
The president of the EU Council, Charles Michel, tweeted, My thoughts are with the victims & their families, expressing solidarity with Turkey.