A car bomb exploded in Ankara,on Atatürk Boulevard, killing 37 and wounding 125 on Sunday evening, March 13; as 16 of the wounded are thought to be in critical condition this may not be the final toll.
On Saturday, the US embassy in Ankara had warned of a potential imminent attack. No terrorist organization has officially claimed responsibility, but Reuters claims government sources are pointing towards PKK.
The explosion in Guvenpark area of the Kizilay commercial, administrative, and transport hub district of Ankara has yet to be claimed by a terrorist group. The central Ankara district was closed to vehicles and pedestrians in the aftermath of the explosion in fear of a second blast. Hurriyet reports that an Ankara court has shut access to social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
This is the second successive explosion in Ankara; a deadly attack on a military convey in Ankara in February killed 28 people. The responsibility for the attack in February was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) in retaliation for extensive military operations in Southeast Turkey. If PKK or TAK accept responsibility for the latest attack, this would be the second of its kind in less than a month in Ankara. The pro-Kurdish Democratic Peoples’ party (HDP) immediately denounced the attack.
In October 2015, more than 100 people died in a Kurdish demonstration in Ankara. As it took place during an electoral rally, there was wide speculation as to the origin of that attack.
Istanbul has not been spared from terrorist attacks. In January, the so-called “Islamic State” assumed the responsibility for an attack in Sultanahmet tourist district, killed 11 German tourists. Another mortar attack took place in Istanbul’s low cost airport hub, claiming the lives of two.
(BBC, DW, CNN Turk, AP, DPA, The Guardian, Reuters)