37 Killed in Ankara Bombing, the Third Attack in Six Months
By Lyndsey Cole
In the third deadly terror attack in Turkey in the past 6 months, at least 37 people were killed in a car bombing in Kizilay Square, Ankara on March 13. The attack is believed to have been orchestrated by the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PPK, according to the New York Times. The PPK is outlawed in Turkey; however, an affiliated group with parliamentary representation has condemned the attacks, saying they share the pain of the Turkish citizens. According to Reuters, there are two known suspects in the terror investigation, both members of the PPK. Police discovered the hand of one of the suspects 300 feet from the site of the explosion – a young female from a city near the Armenian border. The other suspect is a male Turkish citizen with connections to the PPK. The investigation carried out by the government of Turkey questioned and detained at least 15 people connected to the attack.
This was the second car bombing in Ankara within the month, following an attack that occurred on February 17 that killed 29 people, most of them Turkish soldiers. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told BBC that militant groups had begun attacking civilians because they were “losing their struggle with Turkish security forces.”
The explosives used were the same in both attacks, “packed with pellets and nails to cause maximum damage” according to a security official.
Due to the PPK’s ties to the event, Turkish warplanes attacked Kurdish militant camps in northern Iraq on March 14. Violence has been increasing since July, when a two-and-a-half year ceasefire with the PPK ended. Turkey, once considered a “safe zone” in the Middle East, has since become the center of violence. In order to conduct the new attacks against the Kurdish militants, the Turkish government has placed a curfew on several towns in the southeast, and many residents have fled the area.
The Turkish broadcasting authority has also issued a ban on any broadcasting of the terror attacks, according to Haaretz. The government has also issued a ban on the use of social networking sites Facebook and Twitter after images of the bombings were shared. However, analysts claim that the ban will only serve to be counterproductive in the event of another attack. The only network authorized to broadcast images of the bombings in Turkey is the Turkish state news, TRT. This comes after reports that the government was not doing enough to ensure the security of its people, citing claims that the US embassy in Ankara had even warned of a possible militant attack on March 11, two days before the bombing was carried out.