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Turkey Blames Izmir’s Attack on PKK | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addresses the media in Ankara. Reuters

Ankara – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during an opening ceremony of a metro line in Ankara on Friday that Turkey was “under mutual attack by terrorist groups and they want Turkey to be brought to its knees.”

He said: “They won’t be able to set people against each other. They couldn’t destroy our unity.” `

Talking about the latest terror attack in Izmir, Erdogan mentioned the rockets and equipment of the attackers and stated “thanks to the intervention of security forces a major attack was prevented.”

He confirmed that he will approve death penalty if it passes the parliament.

“You know my views about this issue, with regards to reintroduction of death penalty. If it is brought to the parliament and passed, I will approve it because forgiving a murderer is not up to the State – it is not state’s right. That’s what I believe. It’s the right of the heirs.”

In this regard, Turkish police detained 18 people over a gun and bomb attack that killed two people in the city of Izmir, and the justice minister said on Friday there was no doubt Kurdish militants were responsible.

Militants clashed with police and detonated a car bomb outside the main courthouse in Turkey’s third largest city, located on its western Aegean coast, on Thursday after their vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint.

A police officer and a court employee were killed. Nine other people were wounded.

The incident again highlighted the deterioration in Turkey’s public security, coming soon after a gunman killed 39 New Year’s revelers inside a popular Istanbul nightclub. ISIS militants claimed responsibility for that attack.

“All the information we have obtained shows it was the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization who gave instructions for the attack and that the terrorists were from the PKK,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said.

Turkey will come out victorious in its fight against terrorism, the prime minister said in the wake of a terrorist attack in western Izmir province.

“If terrorists had succeeded, our beautiful city of Izmir might have witnessed a major-scale disaster,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said after landing in Izmir’s Adnan Menderes Airport to visit the scene and meet local officials.

“Our martyred hero, Officer Fethi Sekin, sacrificed his life without second thoughts, and prevented a much bigger calamity,” Yildirim said.

The prime minister said terrorist organizations targeting Turkey, including the PKK – which is implicated in this attack – as well as ISIS and others, were “doing shift work.”

“These heinous terrorist cells should take to heart that we will not be divided and we will not bow down,” he said.

“Our country will overcome these days in unity, solidarity and unshakable determination.”

Turkey has suffered four terrorist attacks over the last month.

At Dec. 10 2016, ISIS twin attack left 46 people — mostly police officers — martyred.

One week later, a suicide car bomb attack, this time by the PKK, hit a public bus in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri, martyring 14 soldiers.

On Jan 1, an armed attack, again blamed on ISIS, on a nightclub during the New Year celebrations martyred 39 people.