Turkish police find bomb outside İstanbul Governor's Office
Turkish police safely defused a bomb left in a package outside the İstanbul Governor's Office on Tuesday, the fourth bomb in İstanbul in the past week, Today's Zaman reported.
A suspicious package in front of the office building, which is located in the Fatih district, was noticed by police officers early in the day.
Bomb disposal units were summoned to the scene and the package was safely defused after the area was cordoned off. Security measures around the governor's office were heightened after the incident. This was the fourth bomb police have found since Monday of last week.
A bomb placed in a garbage can inside the Gaziosmanpasa District Governor's Office in İstanbul exploded on April 2, injuring two people. The explosion in Gaziosmanpasa came hours after Turkish police defused a bomb found in a bag near the entrance of the Swissotel in Besiktas, on one of İstanbul's busiest streets.
On the same day, police found another bomb near the Okmeydanı metrobus station. There were no claims of responsibility for any of these bombs and it is not known if the four incidents are connected. According to security experts, all these bombs are most probably the work of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
In another law enforcement development, a court in the southeastern province of Mardin detained five of six suspects pending trial for aiding and abetting a group of PKK terrorists that killed a police officer and three civilians, including a pregnant woman on Sept. 26, 2011, in the city of Batman. Police are looking for two other suspects whose whereabouts remain unknown.
Furthermore, by request of the Van Specially Authorized Prosecutors' Office, police conducted simultaneous operations in the provinces of Van, İstanbul and Igdır on Monday and took into custody seven people for encouraging terrorist organization sympathizers to join the militia and for providing logistical support to the terrorist PKK. They suspects have been taken to the Van Police Department's headquarters for interrogation.
The PKK, which has been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's mainly Kurdish Southeast since 1984, was founded on Marxist ideology. Turkey has been conducting airstrikes on PKK camps in Iraq's northern mountain range and inside Turkey since August of last year, following an increase in attacks on Turkish troops and civilians by the PKK. The decades of conflict have claimed tens of thousands of lives. The PKK is labeled a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States, which has supplied Predator drones to assist Turkey.