Turkey’s interior minister has blamed Kurdish rebels ,and allies in the West, for suicide bombs which killed at least 38 and wounded 166 more.
Suleman Soylu spoke out at the funeral of policemen killed in the blasts, saying that members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, were “animals”. He asked them to think hard about whether they had achieved anything other than being the “servants, pawns and hit men of certain dark forces, of your dark Western partners?”
The PKK has been carrying out an insurgency against the Turkish state for the last ten years, although so far no one has taken reponsibility for the fatal explosions.
The twin bomb blast outside a football stadium in Istanbul killed 38 people, most of whom were police officers, and injured some 166 more. The bombs were triggered just a minute apart by a suicide bomber and also a car blast, just outside the Besiktas stadium. The explosions were designed to go off while there would still be people in the area following a match.
So far, 13 people have been detained by police officers and will face questioning overnight. The death toll may sadly rise as 14 of the people wounded are still in intensive care with what are believed to be life threatening injuries. Turkey has declared a national day of mourning following the tragedy.
Turkey’s deputy Prime Minister Naman Kurtulmus is urging countries who have offered messages of support to also show they are backing Turkey’s battle against terrorism. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Dinali Yildirim has declared an official day of mourning and ordered flags to be flown at half mast in a show of respect for the victims of the blasts.
One witness described the scene as “like hell”. Omer Yilmaz, was drinking tea at the cafe next to a mosque opposite the stadium. He added: “The flames went all the way up to the sky.”