top of page
  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

Turkey strikes Kurdish targets after attack in Ankara

Turkey carried out air strikes in northern Iraq and destroyed 20 targets of outlawed Kurdish militant group after an attempted terrorist attack in Ankara.

Turkish security forces cordon off an area after an explosion in Ankara, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023.

Turkish warplanes have carried out airstrikes on suspected Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq following a suicide attack on a government building in the Turkish capital..

Some 20 targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, were "destroyed" in the latest aerial operation, including caves, shelters and depots, Turkey's defence ministry announced.

 It said a large number of PKK operatives were "neutralised" in the strikes.

Earlier on Sunday, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device near an entrance of the Ministry of Interior Affairs, wounding two police officers.

A second assailant was killed in a shootout with police.

The PKK, which maintains bases in northern Iraq, claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, according to a news agency close to the rebel group.

Turkey's Interior Ministry also identified one of the assailants as a member of the outlawed group. It said efforts were still underway to identify the second attacker.

The attack happened hours before Turkey's Parliament reopened after its three-month summer recess with an address by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The two assailants arrived at the scene inside a light commercial vehicle, which they seized from a veterinarian in the central province of Kayseri, according to the interior ministry.

The pro-government daily Sabah reported that they shot the man in the head and threw his body into a ditch by the side of the road. They then drove the vehicle to Ankara, roughly 300 kilometres away.

"Our heroic police officers, through their intuition, resisted the terrorists as soon as they got out of the vehicle," Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya told reporters.

"One of them blew himself up, while the other one was shot in the head before he had a chance to blow himself up."

"Our fight against terrorism, their collaborators, the (drug) dealers, gangs and organised crime organisations will continue with determination," he said.

Police found plastic explosives, hand grenades and a rocket launcher at the scene, a ministry statement said.

Erdogan gave his speech in Parliament as planned and called the attack "the last stand of terrorism".

"The scoundrels who targeted the peace and security of the citizens could not achieve their goals and they never will," he said.

The president reiterated his government's aim to create a 30-kilometre safe zone along Turkey's border with Syria to secure its southern border from attacks.

Turkey has conducted numerous cross-border offensives against the PKK in northern Iraq. 

It has also launched incursions into northern Syria since 2016 to drive away the Islamic State group and a Kurdish militia group, known by the initials YPG, and controls swaths of territory in the area.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the PKK, which is listed as a terror group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The PKK has waged an insurgency against Turkey since 1984. Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict.

Last year, a bomb blast in a bustling pedestrian street in Istanbul left six people dead, including two children.

More than 80 others were wounded.

Turkey blamed the attack on the PKK and the YPG.

Security camera footage on Sunday showed the vehicle stopping in front of the ministry, with a man exiting it and rushing toward the entrance of the building before blowing himself up.

A second man is seen following him.


bottom of page