Powerful car bomb in Turkey kills five and injures dozens with outlawed Kurdish Workers Party or PKK suspected
The attack Thursday in Diyarbakir reinforces pressure on Turkish authorities to continue aerial bombing of PKK positions in northern Iraq. Fighting between the PKK and Turkish security forces threatens to destabilize Kurdish northern Iraq and make Iraqi political reconciliation more difficult.
(Page 2 of 2)
Citing security sources, Reuters reports that 12 people are in police detention as security forces assume extraordinary powers that allow them to search homes without a judicial warrant. It said the attack will strengthen the hand of Turkish generals who want to hit back hard against the PKK, which it considers to be a terrorist group.Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
State prosecutors have granted security forces "unlimited search" powers for 16 days, enabling them to search homes, offices and vehicles in Diyarbakir, a city of 1 million people, without seeking prior permission.
…The blast has reinforced the pressure on Turkey's politicians and generals to keep up an aerial bombardment campaign against PKK positions in mountainous northern Iraq.
Ankara blames the PKK for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people since the group launched its armed campaign for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey in 1984.
The United States and the European Union, like Turkey, classify the PKK as a terrorist organisation.
The Associated Press said Thursday's car bomb was the deadliest attack on Turkish troops since last October when a PKK ambush left 13 soldiers dead. That attack led Turkey to mass tens of thousands of troops along the border with Iraq. Turkey has since bombed PKK targets in northern Iraq using US military intelligence.
The [car bomb] attack appeared to be in retaliation for three airstrikes by Turkish warplanes against shelters of…PKK, in northern Iraq last month. The pro-Kurdish Firat news agency reported that PKK leaders in Iraq have declared big cities in Turkey targets.
…There have been two explosions in Turkey's commercial center, Istanbul, in the past two weeks, killing one and wounding nine. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks but Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler blamed Kurdish rebels.
In Diyarbakir, the last bombing blamed on Kurdish rebels was on Sept. 12, 2006, when 10 people died.
Turkish air raids and troop incursions into Iraq, with apparent US complicity, have riled Iraqi Kurds who are largely sympathetic to the PKK, The Christian Science Monitor reported last month. A surge in PKK attacks since late summer has put political pressure on Turkish leaders to react. But their military response could be a setback for Iraqi political reconciliation.
The scale of the Turkish incursions could further undermine any political deal-making between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite led-government and minority Sunni factions, and exacerbate hostilities between Iraqi Kurds and the central government in Baghdad.
Already, tensions are high over disagreements about the proposed oil law and contracts the Kurdish government signed with foreign oil companies.
"There is a feeling among a lot of Kurds that the Maliki government is ready to give the Turks all the help they need to bomb locations in Kurdistan," says Sarkot Hama, a human rights activist reached by phone in the northern Iraqi city of Sulamaniyah.