Turkey arrests more than 200 people following Istanbul blasts

Turkey's Interior Ministry on Monday detained 235 people found to be "spreading terror group propaganda" and acting on behalf of the PKK.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Friends and relatives of police chief Kadir Yildirim who was killed in Saturday's blasts, march with a Turkish flag during a funeral ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, December 12, 2016.

The PKK-affiliated TAK terrorist group on Sunday claimed responsibility for two bomb blasts outside the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul's Besiktas district on Saturday night that killed at least 44 people, and injured over 150. The first was a car bomb outside the stadium, followed within a minute by a suicide bomb attack in an adjacent park.

Turkey's Interior Ministry on Monday detained 235 people found to be "spreading terror group propaganda" and acting on behalf of the PKK. It said that the operation followed Saturday's attacks and covered 11 provinces across Turkey from the northwest to the southeast. Among those detained were officials from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) over allegations of links to the PKK, Anadolu Agency reported.

TAK claimed responsibility for Saturday's attacks in a statement on its website. It has also claimed responsibility for a number of other attacks in Turkey this year, including two bombings in Ankara in February and March which combined killed at least 67 people.

Turkey's health minister, Recep Akdag, on Monday said the death toll from Saturday's terrorist attack in Istanbul had risen to 44, 36 police and 8 civilians.

TRT World's Iolo Ap Dafydd has more.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies