PM Yıldırım says no doubt PKK was behind stadium attacks

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Binali Yıldırım

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said twin bomb attacks that rocked İstanbul on Saturday evening is without doubt the work of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The explosions, triggered by a car and a suicide bomber less than one minute apart, struck outside the Beşiktaş football team’s stadium less than two hours after a match had finished on Saturday evening. The attacks claimed the lives of a total of 38 people and injured 166 others.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday after visiting victims in the hospital, Yıldırım said, “We have no doubt that this [terrorist attacks] is the work of the PKK.”

No terrorist organization has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but government officials have been pointing to the PKK since Saturday night.

In a similar statement, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in remarks to CNN Turk: “The arrows point to the PKK. It was clearly a planned event. There will be an announcement once the investigations are over. We cannot say anything definite for now.”

Turkish authorities had conducted direct talks with jailed PKK chief Abdullah Öcalan for several years until a truce in effect collapsed in the summer of 2015. Since then, there have been heavy clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces.

More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

 

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