Turkey detains hundreds after Istanbul stadium attack

The Interior Ministry says the suspects include members of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party or HDP, which Ankara links to the PKK.

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

The blast site was cleared only a few hours after Saturday’s attack in Istanbul, Turkey. Security forces continued patrolling areas adjacent to the stadium early Sunday morning.

Updated Dec 14, 2016

Turkish police have detained 586 people for having alleged links to the PKK in raids conducted over the past two days, the Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday.

The operation follows a twin suicide bomb attack on Saturday night that killed at least 44 people and injured 150 others outside the Vodafone Arena, home to Istanbul's Besiktas football club. The PKK-linked TAK terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The detained suspects include members of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). A statement issued by the Interior Ministry said members of the HDP participated in activities organised by the PKK and spread propaganda on its behalf. 

The Turkish government has repeatedly accused the HDP of having links to the PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU. The HDP denies any direct links with the PKK.

The PKK has been fighting the Turkish state for over three decades. Its urban wing, TAK, has claimed responsibility for several terrorist attacks in the past. Saturday’s bombing was one of the deadliest.


TRTWorld and agencies