Kurdish TAK group claims responsibility for Istanbul attack, more violence expected in Turkey

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A member of the PKK-affiliated People's Defense Forces (HPG). File photo: Vice

ARA News

Istanbul – The PKK-linked group Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) on Sunday claimed responsibility for the twin blasts that hit police forces in Istanbul city on Saturday night and killed over 39 people, including 30 police officers.

“The simultaneous action in Istanbul Vodafone Arena Stadium and Maçka was conducted by our Team Martyr Tirej at 22:30 on 10 December, 2015. Two comrades of ours bravely fell martyr as a result of this action which left some 100 police dead and hundreds of others wounded,” the TAK said in a statement.

“The Turkish people are not a direct target of TAK. Our Team Martyr Tirej carried out this action with utmost attention.”

The Kurdish group says Turkey should not expect any stability with the ongoing imprisonment of PKK-leader Abdullah Ocalan and the ‘ongoing AKP facism’ by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“However, no comfortable life should be expected in Turkey while the imprisonment of Leader Apo continues, the Turkish-AKP fascists torture mothers, expose the bodies of young girls and massacre children in Kurdistan on a daily basis. The peoples of Turkey should say enough to this fascism because only the AKP fascism is responsible for this chaos,” the group said.

David Romano, a Professor of Middle East Politics at Missouri State University, told ARA News that the instability in Turkey will most likely continue.

“First, this was an attack against police, so by most definitions would be guerrilla war rather than terrorism. That makes it easier to claim responsibility, since it’s viewed as more legitimate than targeting civilians,” he said.

“Second, the TAK and the PKK have an interest in showing that despite everything that Erdogan said would bring Turkey stability –the AKP’s majority government after November, the major operations in the southeast that left several cities in ruins, the never ending state of emergency powers, the airstrikes, the clampdown on civilians with the HDP, and suppression of journalists– Turkey has less stability than before,” Romano said.

“It has less stability than before because Kurdish parties like TAK and the PKK can strike when and where they want,” he stated.

Austrian political scientist Thomas Schmidinger told ARA News that it is unlikely these attacks will stop.

“Normally TAK only claims responsibility for attacks they really did. Until now nobody exactly knows who is behind TAK and how TAK is related to the PKK. But it is obvious that TAK reemerged with the end of the peace process and the new war between the Turkish state and the PKK since December 2015,” he said.

“I fear that such attacks will continue if the war continues in the southeast of Turkey,” Schmidinger said.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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