Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed the PKK Kurdistan Workers Party for a car bomb attack that killed at least 13 people in the centre of the country.
In a statement in the Turkish press, he said the “separatist terrorist organisation” was responsible for the attack, this being the title he frequently affords the PKK. The organisation is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
No immediate claim of responsibility has been made.
Erdogan linked the recent spate of terror attacks in Turkey to the developing situation in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.
People detained, suspects sought
An investigation into Saturday’s blast (December 17) is underway.
Seven people have been detained and five are being sought in connection with the bombing, which targeted a bus carrying off-duty soldiers and civilians to a market in Kayseri.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim vowed to continue the fight against terror.
“Terrorist organisations should know this, Dardanel’s spirit, the spirit of freedom exists in this nation in every way. These events do not weaken our nation’s power to fight against terrorism, but rather increase it.”
Fifty-six people are reported to have been wounded. At least 12 are in intensive care and six are in a critical condition, according to officials.
It comes a week after 44 were killed in twin bombings in Istanbul, claimed by the PKK.
Veysi Kaynak, a Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, compared the incident to the December 10 blasts.
Shortly after the December 17 car bombing, Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said the materials used were similar to those used in the PKK-claimed bombings.
Throughout 2016, Turkey has fallen victim to a series of fatal bombings carried out by both Kurdish militants and jihadist groups.