Thirty-eight people, mostly police officers, were killed and 155 wounded in Saturday’s twin bombings in Istanbul. The organisation “The Falcons for the Liberation of Kurdistan” (TAK), considered an offshoot of the Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK), claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Turkish authorities fear that similar attacks will take place in other big cities since Turkey is thought to have many open fronts in Syria including with the Islamic State, the PKK and the Kurds of the PYD, amongst others.
This is the reason Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened an emergency meeting in Istanbul on the country’s security. Twenty four major bombings took place in Turkey in 2016 causing serious concerns for the security of the country. As it was announced by the Ministry of Interior a total of thirty policemen and eight civilians were killed in the double bombing
The attacks as they happened outside the Besiktas Stadium
The first explosion took place on Saturday at 10:29 pm in front of the Vodafone Arena stadium where almost two hours before a Besiktas and Bursaspor game ended. The Palace of Dolmabahce is situated 200 meters from the scene.
The policemen had gathered to leave the area when a passing vehicle packed with 300 kilograms of explosives exploded in front of the stadium’s entrance.The second explosion occurred 45 seconds after the first explosion, in Matska park just 300 meters from the football stadium, while the police had surrounded the bomber.
Sunday was declared a day of national mourning in Turkey with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim requesting that the flags be flown at half-mast to honour the victims.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan postponed the scheduled visit to Kazakhstan and attended the victims’ funerals. “Nobody should doubt that by God’s will, we as a country and as a nation, we will face fear, terrorist organisations and the forces that are behind them”, said the Turkish president. The organisation “Falcons for the Liberation of Kurdistan” (TAK) said it carried out the attacks In a statement posted on its website. TAK has also claimed responsibility for other deadly attacks in Turkey this year.
At least 9000 dead in Turkey in 2016 – 24 terrorist attacks
In 2016 alone, 24 terrorist attacks leaving 310 dead and 1338 injured took place in Turkey.
If you add to that the 8000 Kurds that the Turkish authorities claim to have killed in the fighting with the PKK and the 700 security forces men killed in the fighting, the result as far as Turkey’s security is concerned is at tragic levels.
The Turkish government blames foreign powers for the situation in the country, pro-government newspapers and television networks argue that “the US and EU are trying to prevent Turkey’s development. ”
Analysts express their concern about the presence of terrorist organisations in Turkey. The country has been the target of several terrorist organisations. The PKK has been continuing its activity in Turkey since 1984. The imprisonment of Kurdish deputies and the destruction of many cities in southeast Turkey has sparked violent clashes. The ongoing clashes with Kurds in Syria is causing the reaction of the Syrian branch of the PKK,the PYD
As a reaction to the Turkey – Russia alliance in Syria the jihadists of the Islamic State mainly target tourist locations in Turkey.
Two days earlier a Turkish court dropped all charges against Israeli suspects on trial in absentia in the Mavi Marmara case where 11 Turkish citizens died. The case was dismissed on Friday after the prosecutor asked the court to drop the charges against the Israeli military officers implicated in the incident, referencing the reconciliation agreement arrived at in June between the two countries causing the reaction of Islamic extremists living in Turkey.
Constitutional Reform Proposal means Erdogan would stay until 2029
The Turkish Parliament filed a proposal for constitutional reform submitted by the ruling AKP Party’s and the Nationalist Action Party (MIP), which should provide the president with even more power. Essentially, it proposes to transfer the powers of the prime minister to the president of the Turkish Republic.
This proposal would allow Erdogan to stay in power until 2029.
The constitutional review project involves the simultaneous holding of, parliamentary and presidential elections in November 2019 while the number of MPs will increase to 600. The president of the country will be elected for a term of five years that can be renewed once. If the proposal is accepted by Parliament a referendum will be held in March 2017. With the current system even if Erdogan completes two terms he would have to leave the presidency in 2023./ΙΒΝΑ