With the death of wounded police officer Muammer Nacakoğlu on Wednesday, the total number of victims in a twin bomb attack in İstanbul on Dec. 10 rose to 46.
Thirty-eight of the 46 fatalities were police officers in the attacks, for which the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has claimed responsibility.
The explosions, triggered by a car bomb and a suicide bomber less than one minute apart, struck outside the Beşiktaş football team’s stadium some two hours after a match had finished.
TAK also claimed responsibility for a car bomb in Adana on Nov. 24 that took the lives of two people, and another one in Diyarbakır on Nov. 4 that killed 11.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters after visiting victims in the hospital that the attacks were without doubt the work of the PKK.
In a similar statement, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in remarks to CNNTürk: “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.