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Turkish political leaders stress determination in fight against terrorism

December 11, 2016 at 1:32 pm

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – DECEMBER 11 : Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits the injured police officers at Bezmialem Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey on December 11, 2016. (Kayhan Özer – Anadolu Agency)

Turkish political leaders issued statements on Sunday, condemning Saturday’s terror attack near a football stadium in Istanbul that martyred at least 38 people and injured 155 others.

In a written statement, Turkish parliament speaker Ismail Kahraman said those kinds of attacks would make the government more resolute in its fight against terror.

“Whatever it is, PKK, PYD, Daesh or FETO [Fetullah Terrorist Organisation], all terror organisations must be condemned. the Turkish nation is resilient. It is important for our nation to be in unity and solidarity,” Kahraman said.

The Turkish General Staff said in a statement that the army, gendarmerie, police and security forces would combat terror jointly and determinedly.

Similarly, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said all treacherous plots against Turkey would be repaid by the national solidarity and the state’s determination.

“None of the terror groups or their acts can stop Turkey’s fight against terrorism,” tweeted Bozdag.

The opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said: “It is not a coincidence that this deadly attack happened during a period when Turkey is beginning to come to a social and political compromise.”

“PKK, FETO, Daesh, PYD/YPG, DHKP-C [a far-left terror organization], all these organisations will be destroyed by national dignity. There is no other alternative,” Bahceli said.

A funeral was held at the Istanbul police headquarters in Fatih district for five police officers who lost their lives in the blasts.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım attended the ceremony as well as local authorities and police officers.

Across the city, diverse groups also marched against terrorism, placing carnations on the site of Saturday’s bomb attack.

At around 10.30 pm (19 30GMT) on Saturday evening, two explosions rocked Istanbul’s European side.

Outside a football stadium in Istanbul’s Besiktas district, a car bomb was detonated two hours after the end of a Turkish league football match between Besiktas and Bursaspor.

Seconds later, a suicide bomb attack occurred in Macka Park in the same neighborhood. The suicide bomber blew himself up after police noticed him, according to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

“A total of 13 suspects have been arrested so far… Signs point to the involvement of the PKK terrorist group” said the Turkish PM.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus also said Sunday that the PKK terror group was “most likely” to have been involved in Saturday’s deadly terror attack.

The Turkish Prime Ministry said in a statement, a day of national mourning has been declared on Sunday. The national flags will be flown at half-mast across Turkey and at foreign delegations, it added