Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

New Attack in Izmir, Istanbul Shooter from Uighur | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Rescue teams arrive at the scene after an explosion outside a courthouse in Izmir, Turkey, January 5, 2017. REUTERS/Tuncay Dersinlioglu

Ankara- Turkey witnessed on Thursday a new terrorist attack in Izmir while authorities continue their investigations into the terrorist New Year’s attack when a gunman opened fire at the Reina nightclub on the shores of Istanbul’s Bosporus killing at least 39 people before fleeing the scene.

Only four days after the bloody Istanbul attack, which shook Turkey in the first hours of 2017, another attack happened on Thursday in Izmir, west Turkey but in a different style by using car bomb attacks.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said a much larger attack was apparently being planned, based on the weapons found at the scene of a car bombing in the western city of Izmir.

“Based on the preparation, the weapons, bombs and ammunition seized, it is understood that a big atrocity was being planned,” Kaynak told reporters.

The car bomb killed at least two people, Izmir’s Governor has announced.

Erol Ayyildiz said terrorist had detonated a car while Turkish explosive experts were capable to remove a second car and detonate it before exploding near the main courthouse in Izmir, where the first car had exploded.

A police officer and an officer of the court were killed in the attack.

Ayyildiz said the police have also seized two Kalashnikovs and eight hand grenades.

He accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for being responsible for the attack.

Abdullah Aghar, an expert in counter-terrorist affairs told Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday there is a possibility that several terrorist groups might be exchanging roles and coordinating to shake Turkey’s stability.

Karam Kyzyl Tash, a political analyst said Turkey was fighting ISIS alone and that Europe was dealing with terrorism with two faces.

“All parties should support Turkey in facing terrorism because what is happening now aims to separate between the Turkish people,” he said.

Concerning the latest investigations related to the Reina nightclub shooting, Kaynak said the gunman was probably from China’s Muslim Uighur minority.

“The security forces have determined his identify, his possible whereabouts have been determined … His contacts have also been determined,” Kaynak said. “We can say that the circle is closing in on him.”