Turkey detains Kurds, hits militants after twin blasts
Turkey detained over 200 people including dozens of officials from pro-Kurdish parties and struck Kurdish militants in Iraq Monday in response to this weekend's twin bombings claimed by a radical Kurd separatist group.
The toll from Saturday's attacks, which struck an Istanbul football stadium and a nearby park, rose to 44 on Monday, Health Minister Recep Akdag said –36 of them police officers. Turkish jets pounded targets in northern Iraq, with the military saying it had hit "separatist terrorist organisation members", referring to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The armed forces said they struck targets in the Zap region of northern Iraq, destroying militant headquarters as well as nearby shelters and gun positions.
In total, 235 people were detained in operations in 11 Turkish cities accused of acting on behalf of the PKK or producing propaganda for the group, some via social media, the interior ministry said.
The ministry did not give specific numbers of how many pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) officials and its sister Democratic Regions Party (DBP) were detained in early-morning raids.-
The actions are likely to raise fears Ankara is going further in its crackdown and acting out of revenge against pro-Kurdish politicians who stand accused of links to the PKK –a charge that the HDP denies.
The weekend's bloodshed was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), seen as a radical offshoot of the PKK which is itself regarded as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States.
TAK has claimed three major strikes this year in Istanbul and Ankara, killing a total of at least 73 people.
In the aftermath of the attacks a defiant President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to fight terror "to