JEDDAH: Police arrested more than 1,000 people in raids across Turkiye on Tuesday in a renewed crackdown after a suicide bomb attack in Ankara by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK.
About 90 people in 18 provinces across the country were detained over suspected links to the PKK. Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said an additional 928 people suspected of holding unlicensed firearms or being connected to firearms smuggling were arrested during the operation, and more than 840 weapons were confiscated.
A PKK suicide bomber detonated an explosive device near an entrance to the Interior Ministry on Sunday, hours before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was set to address parliament as it returned from its summer recess. A second bomber was killed in a shootout with police.
Two police officers were slightly wounded in the attack. The bombers arrived at the scene inside a vehicle they seized from a veterinarian in the central Turkish of Kayseri after shooting him in the head.
Hours later, Turkiye launched airstrikes on Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq, where the PKKleadership is based. The Defense Ministry said a large number of militants were killed” in the strikes.
Among those detained in Tuesday’s crackdown was Aysenur Arslan, 73, a TV news host who questioneddetails of the official account of the attack on opposition broadcaster Halk TV. Arslan was detained in her home after prosecutors accused her of “terrorist propaganda” and “praising criminal activity.”
Several members of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, which ran under the Green Left party banner in general elections, were also among those arrested.
Erdogan said on Tuesday he expected more support from allies for Turkiye’s counterterrorism campaign. “We want to see concrete steps from friends in addition to messages of condemnation,” Erdogan said at an opening ceremony of a Council of State facility in Ankara.
“They should know that statements that condemn terrorism and console us will not heal our wounds.”
The PKK is listed as a terror group by Turkiye and its Western allies. The group has been waging an insurgency since 1984 that has claimed tens of thousands of lives in Turkiye. A series of Turkish military operations has pushed the group back into Iraq.
During this session of Turkiye’s parliament members will be asked to ratify Sweden’s membership of NATO.Ratification has been delayed by Turkish anger over Sweden’s refusal ban marches by the PKK and their supporters in Stockholm.