ANKARA – Turkish Daily News
Top Turkish officials condemned the twin bombings in Istanbul's Güngören district, which killed at least 17 people and injured over 150 others late Sunday.
Officials underlined Turkey's determination to stand firm in the face of terrorism. President Abdullah Gül expressed his sorrow at the losses suffered as a result of the attacks in a written statement Sunday. �I condemn terrorism's ruthlessness, indiscriminate violence toward women and men, children and the elderly, and the perpetrators of attacks, who stand as testimony to the desire for inhumane horror,� read the statement. Gül said Turkey would not yield to terrorism. �Terror can never subdue Turkey. We will fight terrorism to the end. These incidents will increase our solidarity as a nation. Together, we will strongly condemn terrorism with greater force and greater depth,� he said. �Perpetrators who aim to harm our country's serenity and unity by hiding behind terrorism's bloody face will never reach their goals in the face of our nation's and state's resolve,� he said. The attacks merely reveal the inhumane character and misery of their executors, Gül added. Terrorists used a percussion bomb to attract the attention of the locals to the scene, and then exploded a powerful bomb to cause massive damage. Eyewitness accounts suggest that as many as 1,000 people were gathered around the site of the first explosion before the second bomb went off meters away.
�Retaliation in order'
The government vowed that the attacks will not go unpunished. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned that terrorists will not be able to escape their fate. �Those responsible for this brutality cannot evade their doom, wherever they are,� he said. He also condemned the terror strike that targeted �a much frequented street of Güngören, Istanbul, at a busy hour, without any distinction between men, women or children,� in his written declaration.
Erdoğan said terror attacks will only boost the country's resolve to fight against terrorism. �I believe that our nation will respond to this cruel attack by standing firm on its solidarity and unity,� Erdoğan said. Initial reports have suggested that the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, may be responsible for the Güngören bombings.
The Turkish military emphasized that the fight against terrorism will continue relentlessly. Chief of Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt said the targeting of civilians is a sign of terror's desperateness. �Terrorists will be brought before justice,� he said, and added that the Güngören bombings will strengthen the resolve to fight terrorism. The bombing came days after Turkish warplanes hit PKK supply depots located in northern Iraq. Meanwhile Democratic Society Party, or DTP, leader Ahmet Türk urged restraint in blaming the PKK for the bomb attacks, saying, �We think hastily addressing somebody as guilty and creating tension is meaningless.� He argued that the PKK was accused of attacks against military posts that took place in Şemdinli, Lice and Bingöl in recent days, but �we saw that those in relation with the deep state and Ergenekon gang were found to be involved in those incidents.� He condemned the bomb attacks and defined them as �a blow against peace and the future.�