Will Turkey become Another Syria
The attacks in Turkey are now almost common place, and the ISIS attackers are now coming from within the Turkish establishment. Islamic forces are set to re-establish a centuries old battleground of Islam Vs Europe in Turkey.
The Islamic State international terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the New Year’s Eve shooting in a crowded Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people.
The Islamic State issued a statement calling the gunman its “soldier,” who attacked Christians for celebrating a holiday the jihadist terrorists deem “apostate.” The attack was reportedly carried out in revenge for Ankara’s military involvement in Syria.
Calling the terrorist attack a “dirty game,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that his country will remain level-headed and stand together against terrorism. He promised to retaliate against not only the militant jihadists themselves, but also “the forces behind them” by foiling their “economic, political and social attacks.”
Eight individuals thought to have been involved in the nightclub attack were apprehended in Istanbul on Monday, Turkish Daily Sabah reported, citing police. Over the past week, nearly 150 people suspected of having ties to the Islamic State terrorist group have been detained, Turkey’s Interior Ministry said, adding that 25 have been formally placed under arrest.
The gunman, who may be from a Central Asian country, is suspected of coming from the same cell responsible for carrying out a deadly gun-and-bomb attack on Istanbul’s main airport back in June of last year, according to Turkish Hurriyet newspaper.
December 19: Assassination of Russia’s ambassador
Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was shot dead by a gunman who opened fire at the grand vernissage of a photo exhibition in Ankara. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the attack was “clearly a provocation aimed at undermining the improvement and normalization of Russian-Turkish relations, as well as undermining the peace process in Syria promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in settling the conflict in Syria.”
December 17: Attack on soldiers’ bus
A bus carrying off-duty soldiers was hit by an explosion outside a university in the Turkish city of Kayseri, leaving 13 people dead and 55 wounded. President Tayyip Erdogan blamed the attack on Kurdish militants.
December 10: Istanbul stadium bombing
Two separate blasts targeting Turkish security forces in the vicinity of Besiktas stadium in Istanbul killed 38 people, most of whom were police officers. Over 150 other people were injured. The blast outside the stadium, which took place shortly after a soccer match between two of Turkey’s top teams, was caused by a remotely detonated car bomb, Turkey’s interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, said. The first explosion was followed by a suicide attack at Macka Park less than a minute later.
June 28: Ataturk airport blasts
Over 40 people died and almost 240 were injured when three blasts rocked the international arrivals terminal of Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, one of the world’s busiest. The majority of the victims were Turkish nationals, but there were also foreigners among the dead, officials said. The Turkish government linked the attacks to Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
March 19: Shopping mall attack in Istanbul
Five people were killed in an attack on a popular shopping district in Istanbul, including the attacker. At least 36 other people were injured. Two Israelis, two Americans, and one Iranian were among the fatal casualties. The blast occurred a few hundred meters from an area where police buses are often stationed. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the blast “inhumane,” saying it would not stop Ankara from fighting “centers of terrorism.”
March 13: Ankara bombing
A blast caused by a suicide car bombing hit downtown Ankara, killing at least 37 people and injuring 125. The blast occurred near Guven Park close to a courthouse and buildings housing the country’s justice and interior ministries.
The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a Kurdish militant group, claimed responsibility, saying the attack was a response to security operations being conducted in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast. “This action was carried out to avenge the 300 Kurds killed in Cizre as well as our civilians who were wounded,” the group said in a statement.
March 3: Attack on police station in Istanbul
A pair of female terrorists threw grenades and opened fire on a police bus as it was about to enter a police compound in Istanbul. They were later killed by law enforcement officers after being cornered in an adjacent apartment building. The leftist DHKP-C militant group, which has repeatedly targeted police stations, claimed responsibility for that attack in a statement to state-run Anadolu news agency.
February 17: Car bomb in Ankara
Twenty-eight people were killed and 61 injured in a blast in Ankara, when a car bomb targeting military personnel went off close to the parliament building. The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), a splinter group of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), later claimed responsibility, saying they had carried out the bombing in retaliation for Turkey’s military operation in the southeast of the country. TAK vowed to continue its attacks.