What we know about who is behind the Istanbul explosion

The interior ministry said that initial investigations point to Kurdish fighters as the perpetrators of the horrific attack.

Initial investigations point to Kurdish rebels being responsible for the tragic strike on a busy pedestrian route in Istanbul, and the country's interior minister has announced that police have apprehended a suspect in connection with the bombing.

At least six people were killed and dozens more were injured in an explosion on Istiklal Avenue on Sunday. Istiklal Avenue is a busy shopping and dining street that connects to Taksim Square.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu was quoted by Anadolu Agency on Monday as stating, "The guy who left the device was arrested by our Istanbul Police Department teams just a short while ago." Even while he didn't provide the suspect's identity, he did reveal that 21 others had been detained for questioning.

In total, 81 people were admitted to hospitals, although Soylu reported that 50 of them have since been released. Currently, he said that five of the injured were being treated in an emergency room and that two of them were in critical condition.

We need to know who to blame.

Soylu claimed that the evidence pointed to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as the responsible party, as well as the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey claims is the PKK's Syrian affiliate (PYD). He promised that revenge would be taken on those responsible for the attack.

According to him, the majority Kurdish city of Kobane (Ayn al-Arab) in northern Syria on the border with Turkey provided the attack's orders.

A woman who sat on a seat near the blast site for almost 40 minutes has become the focus of investigators, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said pro-government radio A Haber on Sunday. Minutes after she left, the bomb went off.

On Monday, police in Istanbul revealed that the detained woman was Syrian and had entered Turkey via the Syrian province of Afrin. It was also revealed by the authorities that she had received training from Kurdish forces.

The PKK, on the other hand, issued a statement in which it condemned the attack but denied any responsibility for it.

In 1984, the PKK, which is now considered a "terrorist" organization by Turkey, the EU, and the United States, began a military campaign against the Turkish government. Since then, tens of thousands of people have been slain in the conflict.

The conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people in Turkey. The PKK and its offshoots have launched countless attacks on military, security forces, and civilians, while Turkey has conducted operations in the southeast of the country to drive the PKK out.

Several deadly bombs occurred in Turkey between 2015 and 2017, some of which were carried out by ISIL (ISIS) and others by Kurdish rebels who want more autonomy or independence.

More than 500 people, including civilians and security personnel, were killed in the attacks, prompting Turkey to undertake cross-border military operations into Syria and northern Iraq against Kurdish rebels and to tighten down on Kurdish politicians, journalists, and activists at home.

Many Turkish military operations have crossed international borders in recent years, targeting groups the Turkish government labels as "terrorist" because they are led by Kurds.

The Turkish government announced earlier this year that it will launch a new military operation in northern Syria with the stated goal of creating a "safe zone" along the whole length of the border between the two countries. Nonetheless, due to objections from Russia and Iran, this operation has not yet taken place.

The People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian branch of the PKK, commands the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Elections for president and parliament are set for June 2023; any further violence could derail the process. After the first wave of attacks in 2015 and 2016, widespread support emerged for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. If more attacks like this one happen, voters may shift to the right and rally around the security candidate. In 2015, Turkey experienced a wave of terrorist strikes, according to Washington Institute senior fellow Soner Cagaptay.


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