ISIS Terrorists behind Istanbul Explosion: Turkey Interior Minister

ISIS Terrorists behind Istanbul Explosion: Turkey Interior Minister
Sun Mar 20, 2016 19:15:00

The attacker behind Saturday’s bombing in the Turkish city of Istanbul has been identified as an affiliate of the ISIS (Daesh) Takfiri group, Interior Minister Efkan Ala says.

The assailant, identified by Ala as 24-year-old Mehmet Ozturk, detonated an explosive device on the crowded Istiklal shopping street, killing at least five people.

Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala

“It has been established that he is a member of ISIS,” Ala said in a media briefing on Sunday, adding that five arrests have so far been made in connection with the blast.

Born in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, Ozturk had had no criminal record and was identified by his DNA, Ala noted.

He further said that Ankara is re-evaluating every security measure in “every dimension,” and will step up cooperation with other countries in order to curb terrorism.

Turkey is itself suspected of actively training and arming Takfiri militants and buying smuggled oil from ISIS, which is wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.

Last month, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said ISIS recruiters have supposedly formed a network in the Turkish city of Antalya for foreign militants from the former Soviet Union.

Russia also released satellite images last year, showing long lines of trucks carrying oil from Syria’s ISIS-controlled parts into Turkey.

Turkey’s national Intelligence Organization (MIT) is also accused of helping ISIS militants cross the border into Syria.

Clashes with Kurdish Forces

The security situation in Turkey has also been deteriorating as a result of escalated clashes between Turkish armed forces and Kurdish fighters.

The Ankara government has long butted heads with Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) based in Syria, billing them as allies of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.

Turkey blamed the YPG for another blast that rocked the capital on February 17, killing nearly 30 people.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went even further in late February, comparing PYD and YPG to ISIS.

This is while, the YPG, which is nearly in control of Syria’s entire northern border with Turkey, has been fighting against ISIS Takfiri terrorists; Press TV reported.

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