News / Europe

    Turkey to Intensify Crackdown on PKK in Retaliation for Bombing

    People visit the site of the Obelisk of Theodosius where Tuesday's suicide bomb attack took place at Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul, Turkey, Jan. 14, 2016.
    People visit the site of the Obelisk of Theodosius where Tuesday's suicide bomb attack took place at Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul, Turkey, Jan. 14, 2016.
    Ken Bredemeier

    Turkey's president said Thursday that military operations would intensify against PKK Kurdish rebels after the group was blamed for a car bombing of a police headquarters, and he promised there would no end to the military operations until the group was eradicated.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke in response to the bombing of the police headquarters Wednesday in Diyarbakir province in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast. The region is at the center of a major security crackdown, which local human rights groups say has led to more than 200 civilian deaths, including children and the elderly.

    Erdogan also criticized the more than 1,000 academics who in a petition this week condemned the crackdown and called for a resumption of a peace process with the PKK. He said the petitioners had spewed hatred against their state and nation by publicly taking sides with the terror organization.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced Thursday that the army had carried out a sustained bombardment against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq, killing 200 militants, in response to a suicide attack that killed 10 German tourists Tuesday in Istanbul.

    Davutoglu said Turkish forces hit 500 IS targets with artillery and tank fire along the border with Syria and near a Turkish camp in northern Iraq. He said the attacks had been carried out within the last 48 hours.

    Davutoglu told a conference of Turkish ambassadors in Ankara that if necessary, Turkey would also launch air attacks against the insurgents and maintain a "determined stance" against IS fighters until they leave the border areas. However, Turkey's warplanes have not flown in Syrian airspace since a Turkish pilot shot down a Russian fighter jet in late November.

    Davutoglu vowed that "every threat directed at Turkey will be punished in kind." He also promised retaliation against any threat directed at what he called "Turkey's guests."

    Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, right, accompanied by his wife Sare, visit the site of Tuesday's explosion, in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016.
    Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, right, accompanied by his wife Sare, visit the site of Tuesday's explosion, in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016.

    Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said authorities had arrested seven suspects, three of them Russian nationals, in connection with the suicide bombing. The attack occurred in Sultanahmet Square, home to Turkey's most visited historic sites, such as the Ottoman-era Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, once a Byzantine church, then a mosque and now a museum.

    In addition to the 10 killed in the attack, another 15 people were wounded, most of them Germans.

    Turkish authorities said the attack was carried out by a Syrian member of Islamic State, Nabil Fadli, 28, who had recently entered Turkey from Syria as a refugee but was not on Ankara's watch list of suspected terrorists.

    Few details of the Russian arrests have been given, but observers suggest there could be a Chechen connection, since many jihadists fighting in Syria are linked to the conflict in the Russian state of Chechnya.

    Turkey remains one of the main transit countries for jihadists going to Syria.

    The Turkish interior minister said everything possible was being done to stop the jihadists, announcing that 36,000 people from 124 countries were now on Turkey's no-entry list.   

    In addition, over the last few days, Turkey has detained more than 70 suspected IS members, although it was not clear whether they had any connection to the suicide bombing in Istanbul.

    VOA's Doran Jones contributed to this report from Istanbul.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: mark
    January 17, 2016 4:48 PM
    Turkey is a safe haven for isis, but dont forget they "isis" have to make it look like they are not with turkey so they have to mix the soup once in awhile, making us or at least trying to make us beleive that the brainwashed isis are not with turkey

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    January 14, 2016 1:16 PM
    It's a shame that USA/NATO/EU see Turkey as one of them. If Turkey’d all this force to deal with ISIS and Obama’s failed to harness it; if Turkey’s had this free flow with ISIS and neither Europe nor NATO’s doing anything about it instead of looking for closer alliance with it; if Turkey only fights back because a faction of ISIS struck at its target in Turkey, then no one’s ready for peace in the Middle-East, and the Obama administration's shuttle diplomacy in the region a deceit.

    This isn’t the first time this is happening, and all we saw was simply a spark in a teacup; Turkey struck ISIS just to warn it off its borders, seemingly saying it didn’t care what ISIS did with the rest of the region. Think Turkey does this as a way to encourage ISIS destabilization of the region to pave its way to the top above Saudi Arabia and Iran which are the kings and kingmakers of the grossly Islamic enclave. We can deduce from all of this that the region is in turmoil because USA/EU/NATO want it so.

    If they want it otherwise, they know what button to press – Turkey – and the cacophony’ll disappear.
    In Response

    by: GOKCE KAVAK from: Turkey
    January 15, 2016 8:10 PM
    I think Turkey is making its policy true if there are some nasty policies in somewhere. And I don't find Turkey and the government to sympathise with the previous Turkish governments, Turkey does continue to show reunion with the west.

    by: GregP from: Boston
    January 14, 2016 11:48 AM
    "Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkish forces hit 500 Islamic State targets with artillery and tank fire along its border with Syria and near a Turkish camp in northern Iraq. He said the attacks had been carried out within the last 48 hours."

    Why isn't Turkey doing this anyway? Why only in retaliation for an attack? I thought defeating ISIS was a goal regardless, so why have these targets been untouched until now?
    In Response

    by: Matt from: DC
    January 14, 2016 12:57 PM
    Assad more than once said Turkey will reap what it sows. He said Turkey let all the ISIS people in to fight me, but they will eventually turn the weapons on Turkey. The man is not a visionary because everyone outside of Turkey saw it coming but he was the only one to say it. Well Turkey...shut up and bit the bullets! Oh, in this case, the same bomb you gave ISIS to destroy Syria is not blowing you up!
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    January 14, 2016 12:03 PM
    Turkey supports ISIS (known fact and common knowledge by now), so ISIS doesn't target Turkey. But if a faction of ISIS decides to target Turkey, then Turkey targets that faction.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora