The heightened security measures set by Turkey against ISIS was followed by a suicide bombing on Monday at Turkey’s southeastern province of Sanliurfa near the Syrian border.
Despite no group yet claimed the attack, ISIS has been the main suspect as Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu confirmed that “initial indications point to ISIS.”
A Turkish language pro-ISIS website was closed to access recently by Turkey after which the website administration issued a statement on July 18 that threatened the Turkish government for trying to “limit the freedom,” adding “Lately, the pressure on Muslims by the Turkish government has felt strong and the arrest of our brothers have disclosed the hostility of the government towards us.”
The last part of the statement of Darulhilafe.com made the threat clear as it said, “If the actions of Turkish government continue to limit the freedom of Muslims that has never carried out attack or harmed Turkey, they should not forget the Muslims could respond to that. We expect Turkish government to lift its limitations on Muslims as soon as possible. If this pressure and limitations continue, we announce a new chapter would be opened with Turkish government.”
In the past weeks, Turkish police detained dozens of suspected ISIS militants in raids conducted across the country over suspicion of joining ISIS or providing support to the group.
The raids in July were carried out against ISIS so far resulted in detainment of 37 suspects.
According to governmental sources, Turkish security forces detained more than 500 individuals for suspected links to ISIS militants. Turkish courts handed down prison sentences to nearly 100 individuals over terrorism charges.
The Migration Authority of the Interior Ministry Headquarters also banned 14,515 foreign fighters from entering the country and deported 1,471 others as of June.
Turkey’s efforts against ISIS have received praise from the Special Envoy of the US to the anti-ISIS coalition John Allen who recently visited Turkey on July 9 to strengthen the ties with Turkey in the fight against ISIS.
The bombing at the Suruc district of Turkey's southeastern province of Sanliurfa near the Syrian border on Monday at noon targeting a group of youth belonging to a pro-Kurdish Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) which had gathered for a press meeting before crossing into Syria to help support Kobane. The bombing took place as the group was reading their press release.
The attack killed 30 as of Monday evening and injured over 104 people, among them 31 were released, 43 still hospitalized, 10 under-going surgery and nine are treated in the intensive care unit.
Sanliurfa Governor Izzettin Kucuk confirmed that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber.
Kucuk said “We have yet to confirm the age of the suicide bomber and the identity of him/her. Our team and security forces are currently working on it.”