Turkey PM says Syria Kurds to blame For Ankara blast


Turkey’s president says there is evidence to prove the Kurdish YPG militia based in Syria were behind Wednesday’s deadly bombing in Ankara.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they had been supported by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey. Both groups deny involvement.

He also said there had been 14 arrests over the attack on the military convoy.

Earlier on Thursday, another convoy in south-east Turkey was hit by a bomb, killing at least six troops.

Wednesday’s bombing in Ankara targeted the convoy as it passed close to key government buildings. Twenty-eight people – at least 20 of them military personnel- were killed and 61 injured.

Tearful families have been gathering outside a forensic medical office in the Turkish capital, waiting for the bodies of their loved ones to be handed over for burial, the BBC’s Yolande Knell reports from the scene.

Earlier, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu named the Ankara bomber as Salih Necar, a Syrian national and member of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

“A direct link between the attack and the YPG has been established,” he said, adding that PKK militants inside Turkey provided the YPG logistical support.

The political arm of the YPG “completely refuted” the claims of its involvement, saying Turkey is not its enemy. A senior member of the PKK said he did not know who was responsible, Reuters news agency reports.

But President Erdogan, speaking on live television, said: “Even if the leaders of YPG or PKK deny being involved in the attack, there is evidence proving they were behind it.”

He said he hoped that this would convince Turkey’s allies of the link between the two groups.

The PKK, which has been fighting for Kurdish self-determination since 1984, is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its Western allies.

Turkey has also designated the YPG a terrorist group, but its allies, including the United States, back the YPG in its fight against so-called Islamic State (IS).


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