Turkish police have detained 73 suspects, including lawyers, in an operation involving raids across Istanbul and other provinces targeting the PKK terrorist group following the latest deadly attack in Ankara on Sunday.
Turkey's semi-official Anadolu Agency said anti-terror police raids, backed by a helicopter, were carried out simultaneously in 32 areas in 15 districts across Istanbul, with 30 suspects being detained, including lawyers of an unspecified association.
The raids came as fighting between security forces and PKK terrorists spread to new areas in southeastern Turkey, with tanks, helicopters and armoured cars deployed after a suicide bombing took place in the capital city of Ankara on Sunday, killing at least 37 people and injuring 125 others.
The suspects were taken to the main Istanbul police station after routine health checks, AA reported, adding that further suspects were detained in operations in eight other provinces.
Turkish police detained 16 people including a number of students in the southern province of Kahramanmaras during anti-terror operations against the PKK and its youth wing YDG-H.
The police have also detained three other suspects in Elazig, Gaziantep, and Sanliurfa provices within the framework of the Kahramanmaras operations, according to AA.
Additionally the police detained six people in the capital Ankara and eight other suspects in the western province of Bursa.
In the western province of Manisa security forces have detained 10 suspects during security operations, including provincial co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP).
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the car bombing that tore through a crowded transport hub of bus and minibus stops and the central metro in Ankara, but the Turkish Interior Ministry said it was carried out by a female PKK terrorist.
On Feb. 17, a suicide attacker set off a car bomb near the Turkish General Staff and parliament buildings in Ankara, killing 29 people and wounding 81.
TAK, an affiliate of the PKK terrorist organisation, had claimed responsibility for the February attack.
Turkey has long been confronted with armed attacks in its eastern and southeastern regions by the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, NATO, and the EU.
The PKK was established by Abdullah Ocalan and his supporters in 1974 in Ankara and the group began launching terror attacks in 1984. Armed clashes and acts of violence have continued on and off for more than 30 years and claimed more than 40,000 lives.