Thai police digging for Turkic connection in Bangkok blast

Thai police are looking at arrivals of Turkish nationals days before Bangkok bomb attack that killed 20 people

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Aug 28, 2015

Thai police along with some security analysts are considering the possibility that a recent Bangkok bomb attack may have a connection with a far-right Turkish organisation who have protested Thailand's deportation of Uighurs – a Turkic-speaking minority from western China. 

On Thursday, the Thai police said that they were inspecting the arrivals of Turkish nationals in the days prior to the attack that left 20 people dead. 

​The National Police spokesman of Thailand Prawut Thavorsiri said that they investigated groups which may have come into the country from Turkey. 

He also added, "we are not focused on the nationality but the individual." 

Last month, more than 109 Uighurs were deported from Thailand, which Uighurs see as a harbour of shelter as they try to escape from suppression in China. That move sparked widespread condemnation with human rights groups pointing out the possibility of the Uighurs facing torture.

The Turkic-speaking Uighur people who have traditionally inhabited China's Xinjiang region has been suffering suppression from China for decades. The World Uighur Congress spokesman said that "China is defending itself and shirking responsibility for Uighurs fleeing because of its policy of suppression. The so-called radicals are those who hope to flee China and live a stable and dignified life in a safe and free country.”

Anthony Davies, a Bangkok-based security analyst with IHS-Jane's, speaking at the Foreign Correspondent's Club of Thailand on Monday, said that there are three "likely groupings" that have motive and the capability to pull off the attack.

Davies also said that the most likely perpetrators of the bombing were militant members of Grey Wolves -  a pan-Turkic, extreme right-wing organisation - however, they haven’t ruled out any group and the investigation is continuing.

So far, the leading evidence police have for the bomb attack is security camera footage from the Hindu Erawan Shrine.

The footage displays a young man with dark hair and a yellow t-shirt, removing a backpack after entering the shrine and walking away from the scene prior to the bomb going off.

TRTWorld and agencies