The father of the Ankara suicide bomber visited PKK camps in northern Iraq four times to “bring his son back home,” according to police testimony obtained by Anadolu Agency.
The suicide bomber behind last week's deadly blast in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara was identified as Abdulbaki Somer, according to prosecution sources on Tuesday.
According to testimony given by Musa Somer on Sunday, Abdulbaki Somer “went missing in September 2005.”
“My son told me he would go to Van to renew his high school enrollment. I did not hear from him for two days after that. That’s when I went to the police to report my son missing,” the father said.
Somer said that they had close relatives in northern Iraq, whom he visited occasionally, and he also visited PKK camps four times in an attempt “to convince my son to come back home.”
Asked if anyone accompanied him during these visits, Somer said he did not tell anyone about it, and he visited the camps alone, driving in a taxi from Dohuk in northern Iraq.
“I was hoping to find my son and bring him back home. I visited the camps four times, and each time, showed my son’s photo to the armed men securing the entrance, who told me they never saw him,” Somer said.
He said that he had failed to find any information or evidence regarding his son’s whereabouts since 2005.
However, prosecution sources say Abdulbaki Somer reportedly joined the terrorist organisation PKK at the age of 16 in 2005 and was based in the Qandil mountains, the PKK base in northern Iraq, until 2014.
Asked how he found out that his son was behind the Ankara blast, Somer said he was suspicious when he saw some media reports showing the photo of an alleged bomber, who “looked like [my] son.”
“That’s also how I learned that he used the code name ‘Zinar’. But I didn’t tell anyone anything. My relatives also got suspicious after seeing the reports and even told me: “My condolences to you. He looks like Abdulbaki,” he said.
The terrorist attack in the Turkish capital on Feb. 17 claimed 29 lives. The blast, which targeted military buses, also left dozens wounded.
The identity of the bomber was revealed by a DNA test, which confirmed that the samples provided by Somer's father matched the assailant.
Somer's father, who lives in the eastern province of Van, had informed police that his son was behind the attack.
Currently, 15 suspects are in custody in relation to the vehicle-borne suicide attack.
The explosives-laden car used in the blast was stolen in Izmir, western Turkey.
The PKK - considered to be a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, the EU, NATO - resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in late July 2015.
More than 300 security officers, along with several civilians, have died in PKK terror attacks since then.