Terrorist attacks in Turkey: Why the country has been swept by a wave of bombings?
Ankara and Istanbul have seen more than 10 terrorist acts in 2016, and the whole Turkey has faced a few hundred attacks
In recent months, Turkey has been swept by a wave of terrorist attacks. In 2016, more than 10 explosions occurred in Ankara and Istanbul; almost every week, the terrorist acts take lives of the civilians and the police in the eastern part of the country.
Since July 2015, the country has been regularly shaken by explosions. These horrific attacks refer to the escalation of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, which has lasted since 1984, and to the operation of the Turkish Armed forces against the Islamic State.
Proclaimed in 2012 truce between Turkish government and Kurdistan Workers’ Party was broken last summer. Then the Turkish Air Forces conducted several air strikes on the positions of the "Islamic State." They have also attacked the positions of the Kurdish rebels. Since then, the anti-terrorist operation has been taking place in the southeastern part of the country.
In parallel, the relations with the ISIS militants have worsened. In July 2015, they have conducted a terrorist act in the town of Suruç; few days later, they killed a soldier in the Turkish city of Kilis, situated near the border with Syria. Until that time, Turkey has not joined the international coalition against Islamists, but after a series of attacks, the state decided to join the military operation. In August 2015, the first Turkish aircraft, as a part of the coalition, attacked ISIS militants. Since then, hundreds of terrorist acts had been committed in the country.
Turkish authorities suspect the Kurdistan Workers' Party in organizing the explosions. This party is fighting for the creation of the Kurdish autonomy within Turkey. In addition, there is a group of "Kurdistan Freedom Falcons," who support the idea of creating an independent Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey. It was previously associated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, but its members deny this connection. "Falcons" have claimed responsibility for the attack in Ankara in February 2016, killing 28 people.
The third front is the Kurdish struggle against the Islamists. Accordingly, the ISIS militants organize attacks against the Kurds. In July 2015, woman suicide bomber killed dozens of students as they ate lunch in Turkey; they were on their way to Kobane to deliver aid. As a result of the terrorist attack, 32 people were killed and 104 were wounded. Kobane events are considered as a successful operation against the Syrian Kurds and against ISIS. Turkey believes that the Syrian Kurds are allies of the Kurdistan Workers' Party and classifies them as a terrorist organization. The Kurdistan Workers' Party, in turn, accuses the authorities, in cooperation with ISIS.
In addition, President Erdogan condemned US support of Kurdish self-defense groups in Syria. Turkey offered the US to conduct a joint operation in Syria, but without the involvement of the Kurds.
March 17, 2016 Kurds have announced the creation of a federal region in the northern part of Syria. Self-governing region was called "Syrian Kurdistan." Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the decision and said that such a unilateral decision cannot have legal force. The authorities fear that the Syrian Kurds will create a threat to Ankara, because they can serve as a model for the Kurdish areas of Turkey.
There is also an opinion that the Turkish authorities are interested in the organization of terrorist attacks in the country. For example, in February 2016, after the terrorist attack in Ankara, some experts noted that the attack had been prepared by the Turkish secret services. The suspected suicide bomber was one of the refugees from Syria, Salih Necar, a member of the Party of Syrian Kurds "Democratic Union," and therefore, Ankara has got a reason for sending troops to northern Syria.
The authorities suspect ISIS militants in conducting the terrorist attack at the Istanbul airport; 41 people were killed as a result of this operation. Kurdistan Workers' Party also said it has nothing to do with the terrorist attack, and pointed out that the use of suicide bombers is the ISIS handwriting.
Now Turkey rules out the possibility of resuming peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, and its leader Cemil Bayik said that the organization is ready to expand military operations against Turkey.
According to recent reports, after the resumption of the conflict with the Kurds, more than 480 Turkish military and police were killed. Turkish General Staff reported on the destruction of about 5 thousand Kurdish militants.
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