As forensics teams comb for clues after Monday’s deadly bombing near the Turkish border with Syria, many Turks have already decided who is to blame.
At least nine people were killed when a car bomb exploded near a police station, igniting a bus and other vehicles. Children were among the dead. More than 60 people were injured.
It happened in Gaziantep in Turkey’s southeast, a region that is frequently the scene of attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK, branded a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and EU.
It denies responsibility for this blast.
Ankara believes Syria is helping to arm the PKK, which has been blamed for the bombing by a senior politician in Turkey where tens of thousands of Syrians have sought refuge from the violence in their homeland.
“The PKK … is trying to provoke our citizens by targeting the civilian population directly. Our citizens must remain cool-headed,” Omer Celik, deputy chairman of the ruling AK Party, wrote in his Twitter account.
Many local people in Gaziantep also blame PKK separatists and attacked the headquarters of a Kurdish political party. Police were called in.
Given claims of Syrian support for the PKK, already tense relations between Turkey and its war-torn neighbour look likely to be strained yet further.