Turkey’s Police Detain 50 in Connection with Ankara Bombings

Turkey’s Police Detain 50 in Connection with Ankara Bombings
Wed Mar 16, 2016 18:46:04

Police in Turkey arrested 47 people, including lawyers and students, Wednesday in a major anti-terror operation aimed to find suspects linked to the recent bombing in Ankara.

The state-run Anadolu Agency reported that police in Istanbul detained 20 people in an operation backed by helicopters. The report said those arrested had links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Other officials in the city said a number of lawyers were among those detained in the operation.

A similar operation was carried out in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaras with police detaining 17 people, including students. Officials said the raid was launched against the PKK and its youth wing operating in the area.

Another 10 people, with suspected links to the PKK were arrested in the western province of Manisa, police said. Senior members of the Peoples' Democratic Party, also known as the HDP, which is Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party, were among those arrested in Manisa.

The massive operations came in response to the weekend attacks in the capital. Over three dozen people were killed. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although the Turkish government blames the PKK for such incidents.

‘Redefining’ Terrorism?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after the bombing that Turkey would “redefine” terrorism so that the government and judicial authorities will be able to take legal action against “anyone” supporting terrorism, including legislators, academics and journalists.

Security across Turkey has become fragile as a result of the country’s direct confrontation with the Kurds inside and outside of the country. The Turkish military has been involved in massive operations against suspected PKK members southeast of the country while airstrikes have also been launched against alleged positions of the PKK in Iraq and Syria.

Turkey claims to have killed about 700 of such elements in those areas. The HDP and human rights groups reject the figures, saying most of those killed were civilians, Press TV reported.

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