ANKARA, TURKEY– Turkey attacked several Kurdish targets on Monday, counteracting the deadly suicide car bombing in the center of the capital. This attack dug them even deeper into the complex Syrian conflict.
According to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, there were “strong indications” that the attack could be linked to rebels of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, otherwise known as the PKK. However, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack thus far.
Nonetheless, Turkish authorities have detained 11 people who they believe are connected to the suicide bombing that killed 37 people. DNA tests were somewhat inconclusive–one test concluded that they had found the person who assisted, but another senior government official said that the assistant was a women, whereas the test said that it was a man.
“There are very serious, almost-certain indications that point to the separatist terror organization,” Davutoglu said, referring to the PKK.
More than 200 people have died in the five suicide bombing since Jury. Several sources blame either the Kurdish rebels or the IS for the attacks. This recent attack was the second suicide bombing in the capital: a Feb. 17 attack for which a PKK offshoot claimed responsibility killed 29 people.
“All five attacks are linked to the fallout of the Syrian civil war,” said Soner Cagaptay, a Turkey expert at the Washington Institute. “Ankara’s ill-executed Syria policy … has exposed Turkey to great risks.”
Bill Park, a lecturer on Turkish foreign policy and security at King’s College London said that there will undoubtedly be more attacks like this in the future. “Bombings in Turkey now look like a campaign and we have to assume that there will be more,” he said.
Turkey has been pushing U.S allis to cease aid for the Syrian Kurds. Washington considers the PKK to be a terrorist organization but has continued to back the Kurdish militia in Syria–an important connection that has proven effective in fighting ISIS.
Since the attack, Turkey has ordered more curfews in flashpoint in the southeast since August in its fight against the PKK.