An arrest has been made in connection with a bomb attack in the Turkish city of Istanbul that killed six people and injured more than 80 others. A bomb was allegedly planted in the Istiklal shopping street. This was announced by Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu early Monday morning, according to state broadcaster TRT.
Accusations against the PKK
“As far as we know, the terrorist organization PKK is responsible,” Soylu announced in response. The outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party has been fighting the Turkish government since the mid-1980s and has been repeatedly blamed for bloody attacks in Turkey in the past.
The Turkish government has previously spoken about a female suspect. Justice Minister Bekir Bostock said the videos show the woman sitting on a bench in the shopping street for about 40 minutes before getting up shortly before the blast.
Explosion in Istanbul: Background unclear
According to official reports, at least six people died and 81 others were injured in the attack on Sunday afternoon. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called it an “ambush attack”.
The background to the explosion was not immediately known. Social media reported that shops were closed and roads were blocked. Footage shared on social media showed a fireball in the middle of a busy street. The explosion was heard in the neighborhood.
Istiklal Street is always crowded during the day, especially on Sundays, reports Turkey’s ARD correspondent Katarina Willinger. The street is a tourist hub in the European part of the Turkish metropolis of around 16 million people.