Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, who visited Suruc after the bombing in the border town yesterday, spoke to reporters on Tuesday confirming that the death toll from the incident has risen to 32 while more than 30 people are still in hospital receiving medical treatment.
Speaking at a press conference held in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sanliurfa, where the Suruc District is located, Kurtulmus said “This is really a heavy and sad picture. Whatever and whoever is behind the attack will be found out.”
The huge explosion in the town on Monday hit the garden of the Amara Culture Centre. The attack seemingly targeted members of the pro-Kurdish Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) who were gathering there for a press meeting before crossing into Syria to help the people of Kobane.
The group aimed to stay in Kobane until July 26 in order to carry out its activities, including building a playground, planting a memorial forest and providing health services to local people.
Stating that the cultural centre is run by the local municipality, Kurtulmus said “The centre is a relatively sheltered place. This was not a bomb thrown into a crowd walking on the street. Initial indications show that the bombing was carried out inside the premises. We are investigating the incident with sensitivity. We are deeply saddened by the occurrence of such a bombing.”
Referring to speculations over the Suruc bombing blaming the Turkish government for the incident, Kurtulmus also said “The Turkish government listed ISIS as terrorist organisation before anyone else and has taken necessary measures along the border. It has not yet been determined which group was behind the attack. Whoever carried out this attack, Turkey is their main target.”
“We are close to identifying the suspect. However, we are not able to make a statement about this before we finalise the investigation,” Kurtulmus added.
Later on Tuesday Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who visited people injured by the explosion in Suruc State Hospital, said that Turkish authorities have identified a suspect thought to be responsible for the suicide bombing and the suspect's links are being investigated.
The names of 30 out of 32 Suruc bombing victims have been identified after a postmortem investigation. The bodies of 28 of the victims were given to their families for funeral services.
Authorities say that there are two bodies which have not been identified, one of which is said to belong to the suicide bomber.