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Following a suicide bomb attack in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, authorities have initiated a comprehensive security crackdown nationwide.
Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya revealed on Tuesday that in 64 provinces, operations were launched targeting individuals in possession of illegal weapons, all in response to the incident attributed to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
A total of 928 individuals have been detained on charges of possessing illegal weapons. An additional 90, according to the state-run Anadolu agency, were apprehended due to alleged affiliations with the PKK.
These operations mobilized roughly 13,400 security personnel, resulting in the confiscation of over 1,000 illegal firearms. The PKK, which has waged a prolonged armed insurgency against Turkey, is labeled a “terrorist” entity by both the United States and the European Union. This conflict, initiated in 1984, has witnessed the loss of tens of thousands of lives.
This comes after a suicide bomber detonated explosives near the Turkish Ministry of Interior entrance. This took place hours before a scheduled speech by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the reconvening parliament post-summer recess. A subsequent confrontation with the police resulted in the death of a second attacker and minor injuries to two officers.
Officials confirmed that the assailants, before the attack, had forcibly acquired their vehicle from a Kayseri-based veterinarian whom they fatally shot. A PKK-affiliated news website acknowledged the group’s responsibility for the act, and one of the attackers was identified by Turkish officials as a PKK member.
In retaliation, Turkish warplanes targeted presumed PKK locations in northern Iraq, where the organization’s top leadership resides.