Turkey launched an operation this morning to arrest around twenty Kurdish politicians and bombed northern Iraq, following the attack carried out yesterday by the Kurdish PKK guerrilla in Ankara. One member of the guerrilla blew himself up and another was killed by the police in front of the Ministry of the Interior, a few meters from the Turkish Parliament. The attack caused minor injuries to two police officers. Hours later he was claimed by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, the EU and the US.
The Turkish Army carried out airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq. In a statement, the Ministry of Defense reported attacks in “Metina, Hakurk, Gara and Qandil”, the latter being considered a stronghold of the organization near the border with Iran. Ankara assures that the bombing destroyed “caves, bunkers, shelters and warehouses” of the organization. The note adds that 20 members of the guerrilla were “neutralized”, a term used by the Turkish Army that refers to people injured, captured or killed. Türkiye routinely carries out border attacks against the PKK in this region.
On the other hand, the police launched an operation in two provinces in the west of the country to arrest around twenty Kurdish politicians for their alleged links to the attack in Ankara. Among those detained are several local officials from the pro-Kurdish leftist formation, the Green Left Party (YSP), with a presence in the Turkish Parliament. According to Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya, the detainees are accused of “helping and providing shelter” to members of the PKK. In the last five years more than 20,000 members of the YSP party have been arrested, accused of having links with the guerrilla, according to figures from the political organization. The formation yesterday condemned the attack in Ankara and reiterated that it has no connection with the guerrilla.
Yesterday’s attack coincided with the resumption of parliamentary activity after the summer break. Authorities continue to work to find out the identity of the attackers, while it has been revealed that explosives, grenades, a rocket launcher and several weapons were seized at the scene of the attack. A day before the event, the attackers stole a vehicle and killed its driver in Kayseri, a city 260 kilometers from the Turkish capital.
This is the first attack in Ankara since 2016, when the city suffered a series of attacks claimed by Kurdish militants and the Islamic State, which caused hundreds of victims. Less than a year ago, in November 2022, an attack attributed to the PKK but not claimed by the organization, caused six deaths and eighty injuries in one of the most commercial streets in Istanbul.