Turkey arrests the alleged perpetrator of the attack in Istanbul and blames Kurdish groups for her organization | International
The Turkish Interior Minister, Süleyman Soylu, announced on Monday morning the arrest of the alleged perpetrator of Sunday's bomb attack on Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue, as well as 21 other people related to the attack that caused the death of six people and more than eighty injured. "The evidence we have [apuntan] to the PKK/PYD," Soylu said, referring to the armed group Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), whose YPG militias control part of northern Syria, from where, according to Ankara, ― proceeded the author and the order of the attack. The Turkish Interior Minister has also charged the United States for the support they provide to these militias.
Although at first the possibility that it was a suicide attack was considered, the investigation is now opting for a woman who placed a bomb package next to a flower pot in a busy area of Istiklal Avenue. “A woman sits on one of the benches for more than forty minutes, then she gets up and after a minute or two there is an explosion,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag explained. Videos from the security cameras broadcast on Turkish television show a young woman with boots, military pants and covered by a veil ―knotted more in the Syrian way than in the style in Turkey―, who runs through the crowd fleeing faster than the rest.
Images of the arrest have also been published, in which the alleged author is seen restrained by heavily armed officers on the floor of a modest, small, almost unfurnished apartment. A police dog helps in the search, in which money in different currencies, some apparently gold jewelry - a common way of moving money in the Middle East -, a pistol and a box of bullets would have been found.
As explained by Soylu, the alleged terrorist entered Turkey from Afrin, a former Kurdish canton in northwestern Syria now under the control of the Turkish Army and its related Syrian militias, although she considers that the organization of the attack came from the area under the control of the Democratic Forces. Syrians, an umbrella of various groups led by the Kurdish militias Popular Protection Units (YPG). “Since our first investigations, we are on the same track. The instructions for the attack came from Kobane”, explained the Minister of the Interior. This Syrian city, bordering Turkey and 150 kilometers east of Afrin, is one of the bastions of Syrian Kurdish militias, which between 2014 and 2015 waged heavy fighting against the Islamic State forces that besieged it, as a result of which The US and other countries began to support the YPG.
Ankara, on the other hand, considers them a mere extension of the PKK, a group with which the YPG has close ties and which is included in the lists of terrorist organizations of the US and the European Union. For this reason, the Turkish government has been demanding for years that this cooperation between Washington and the Kurdish militias cease. In addition, it has threatened on several occasions to intervene militarily in the Kobane area, the last time this year, although neither Washington nor Moscow - two powers with a presence in the area - gave Ankara the green light to proceed.
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