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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/20/22

Istanbul terror attack may prompt Turkish invasion and deportations

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On November 13, a blast ripped through Istiklal street, a busy pedestrian area in the Beyoglu neighborhood of Istanbul. The explosion killed six people and wounded 81 at about 4:30 pm local time.

Among the dead were Arzu Ozsoy and her 15-year-old daughter Yagmur Ucar, a nine-year-old girl and her father, and a married couple. All were Turkish citizens.

Later, politicians visited the site where a reported 1,200 Turkish flags were displayed along with flower memorials to the victims.

On November 15, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 58 of those injured had been discharged after being treated, while 17 were still in hospital, with six more in intensive care.

The suspect

According to state-run news agency Anadolu, the suspect is a Syrian woman Ahlam Albasir, who after being detained by police had confessed to the bombing and having acted on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist group. She is claimed to have been trained by the PKK and its Syrian affiliate, the People's Defense Units (YPG), and she is claimed to have entered Turkey illegally from Afrin, Syria.

The police conducted a raid in the Istanbul suburb of Kucukcekmerce early on November 14, while visiting 21 addresses, and had taken at least 46 people into custody in the course of the investigation into the attack.

The police released on November 16 security footage of a woman wearing a headscarf, camouflage pants, a backpack, and carrying a plastic bag walking across Taksim square on her way to the scene of the blast. In another security footage, the same woman sits on a bench at 3:30 pm, leaves her backpack at 4:11 pm, walks away towards Taksim square, and when the explosion occurs she runs away from the scene.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said that police have a phone/audio tape that indicates the PKK had ordered her killing to prevent her capture.

However, on November 14, the PKK and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is comprised chiefly of YPG fighters, denied responsibility for the attack.

"Istanbul terror attack suspect would have fled to Greece today if she had not been caught," said Soylu on November 14. He was referring to the PKK training camp in Lavrio, south-east Attica, in Greece. The camp in Lavrio began as a Kurdish refugee camp but evolved into a self-governed camp where even the Greek police and authorities are afraid to enter.

Questions abound concerning if the captured suspect is the same woman in the video. To wrap up the deadly attack, did the police find the right suspect? Terrorist attacks in Turkey have come from the PKK for decades, but there is a possibility of other groups such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS).

Kurds

From 2015 to 2017 the PKK and IS carried out attacks across Turkey. One such attack also occurred on the same Istiklal street in March 2016, which was carried out by an IS suicide bomber that killed four people.

While the PKK is deemed a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, Washington allied with the YPG against IS in the conflict in Syria. The fiercest fighting group in the SDF is the YPG, and they were the fighting partners with the US military, and remain so in the northeast of Syria where the US maintains several illegal military occupation bases.

Turkish President Erdogan and US President Trump, and now President Biden, have long strongly disagreed on the support and alliance given by the US to the separatist Kurdish in Syria, who are administered by the communist ideology founded by Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK.

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Steven Sahiounie Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

I am Steven Sahiounie Syrian American award winning journalist and political commentator Living in Lattakia Syria and I am the chief editor of MidEastDiscours I have been reporting about Syria and the Middle East for about 8 years

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