New Delhi TimesIndia’s Only International NewspaperTerrorism in Turkey

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By NDT Turkey Bureau

For a long time, Turkey was an inspiration of stability among Europe and the Middle East. However, the present state of the nation is caught in a whirl of great tension and overlapping security problem. According to the 2017 Global Peace Index finding that terrorism costs the country nearly $200 billion every year.

Terrorist attacks cycles creates the feeling of terror among people. Though every terrorist follows the cycle to conduct an attack, the manner in which they do varies. By examining the terrorist tradecraft employed by a specific group and focusing on how attacks are conducted, it is manageable to identify noticeable patterns. The patterns are used to help in identifying operative terrorist group when no group claims for the attack.

Gradually, terrorism has grasped Turkey in a deadly grip. On 19thMarch 2016, a suicide bomber who belonged to belonged to Islamic State of Turkey exploded himself among a tourist group on Istiklal Street which is crowded pedestrian shopping place of Istanbul resulting in killing of four people, injuring around twenty four foreigners. Another bombing was from the Kurdish Freedom Falcons, outgrown from the Kurdistan Workers Party, which is a domestic militant group seeking autonomy in South-eastern Turkey. On 13th March 2016, the Kurdish Freedom Falcons blasted a car with bomb killing thirty seven in Ankara. Another bomb blast occurred on March 3rd, 2016 in Bayrampasa by Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front in which two female operators had attacked police bus using grenades.

The terrorist attacks were executed in different manner but all of them reveal the proficiency of each militant group. The attack by Islamic State in Turkey has targeted at easy places for attacks and been guileless. A pregnant Chechen widow from Islamic State used hand grenade for bombing outside a tourist police station in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district that took her life and killed one police officer.

Till now it is unclear whether woman intended and executed herself or terrorist group had hand in attack. But in mid-2015, the Islamic State began a cautiously arranged campaign of aggressively attacking Kurdish interests in Turkey in an effort to grow Kurdish tensions. In June 2015, a pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party march was under attack by two bombs left in the mass gathering in Diyarbakir leading death of for HDP members and injuring 100 people. In July 2015, a suicide bombing had attacked a rally held at Kurdish cultural center in Suruc that killed thirty three people, wounded hundreds of citizens.

A double suicide bomb was held in October 2015, in HDP rally killing more than hundred and injuring above four hundred people which can be said as deadliest attack in history of modern Turkey. Tourists were also the target of ISIS when on January 12th, 2016 an attack of suicide bombing occurred among foreign tourist near Blue Mosque in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet taking lives of thirteen Germans. The terrorist group is likely to enhance their sophisticated surveillance for attacking well-protected area of their targets such as Istanbul and Ankara. Places which are famous among tourists, hotels, restaurants are the main targets which are anticipated under Islamic State of attack. Suicide bombings are the modes of attacks.

The relationship between Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) is ambiguous. Researchers has claimed about TAK of being a radical disintegrated from PKK while some group of thinkers have observed that TAK is actually PKK urban conflict unit using different name to divert accusation from political group. The TAK activated their attacks on low level focussing tourist places along Aegean Sea in 2005-2006. The TAK shifted their target to Istanbul attacking in October 2008 then again in October of 2010. The groups seem to have a strong scheduling and logistics ability. More rounds of attacks can be expected against security forces. Though till now, no such direct attack on government officials is done by TAK. More than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU — resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015.

The Marxist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front is heredity from Dev Sol militant group which has fought against Turkish government since the 1970s. A long and fierce heritage, the DHKP-C is more determined than it is skilled. As 2000, it attacked by operating suicide bombings and killings. Several of the group’s attempted attacks were disenchanted or failed, with May 2003 attack where a member of DHKP-C unintentionally discharged her suicide device in a washroom. The group attacked U.S. Embassy in Ankara in February 2013 but it got was failed. The DHKP-C is focuses on attacking Turkish government and U.S. diplomatic services.

The three militant groups are different in their ability, motivation, determination and tradecraft. All three groups are threat for the Turkish society. With more awareness on their activities their intention of creating terror, killing innocents can be put on stop. Turkey has been following a strict counter-terrorism policy. According to the estimates given by the Turkish Interior Ministry, 65 terrorists were neutralized across the country, between June 19 and 28 June, within the scope of counter-terrorism operations. 36 were killed, while 13 were captured alive and 16 surrendered to authorities.

Photo Credit : Shutterstock



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