02/18/2016, 10.13
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Ankara attack targets Turkish army

by NAT da Polis

Death toll so far is of 28 dead and 61 wounded. Media blackout, only official statements published. Suspicions point to PKK. Turkey’s ambiguity on Islamic State and war in Syria.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - A large explosion rocked Ankara last night, close to a Turkish army military complex, consisting of several military buildings including the headquarters of the General Staff of the army and the Air Force. The target of the attack was a Turkish official convoy headed toward this military complex. The death toll so far is 28 people with more than 61 injured, but it is still provisional.

The explosion occurred when the vehicle stopped at a red light. According to preliminary information from the branched Armed Forces Staff and the Ministry of the Interior, explosives were placed in a car parked near a traffic light, which was detonated when the convoy had to stop because of the red light.

Immediately after the attack the Turkish government imposed a black-out on media, which is still only publishing official bulletins, a reaction that has become the norm under the current Turkish government.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in Brussels to attend the summit for refugees, decided to cancel his visit to the European capital; President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, convened a special meeting at the presidential palace, canceling a visit to Azerbaijan.

Various members of the ruling party such as Bekir Bozdan, Minister of Justice, and Omer Celik, representative of the AKP ruling party, said that this is a terrorist act, implying the PKK, the Kurdish Workers' Party, considered a terrorist group. Even military sources claim that all evidence indicates that the attack is the work of the PKK.

In recent months Turkey has become the target of a series of terrorist attacks also due also to its ambiguous involvement in the Syrian crisis.

Ankara seems to be a favorite target for bombers, given that another attack took place in this city last October, on the eve of the general election, when a bomb was detonated at the train station of the Turkish capital, causing 100 victims.  This last attack was attributed to the Islamic State, with which the Turkish government is suspected of being in treacherous collusion.

This time the message is much stronger, because this attack appears to be aimed directly at the heart Turkish army.

No doubt it also has very important political connotations. According to the comments from diplomatic circles in Ankara, reactions will almost certainly affect the already fragile balance in this part of the planet.

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