ANKARA – Turkish Daily News
Two bomb blasts late Sunday that devastated a suburban neighborhood in Istanbul, and were allegedly carried out by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, did not come as a surprise to terror experts, who say terrorists wait for vulnerable opportunities for such bloody attacks.
The successive blasts that killed 17 people and wounded 150 others came on the eve of final deliberations by Turkey's top court on whether to ban the ruling party, and on the heels of an indictment lodged by prosecutors against a shadowy network, called Ergenekon, which stands accused of preparing a coup to topple the government.
�This attack is not surprising at all,� said Sedat Laçiner, president of the International Strategic Research Organization.
�The PKK often chooses tense times to launch terrorist attacks,� he said, bringing to mind the group's previous terror activities that occurred during critical European Union summits and military-government tensions.
�It is very good timing for the terrorist organization,� agreed Nihat Ali Özcan, security policy analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey. He said terror functions best during tense times and terrorists always look to contribute to chaotic environments.
Chaos is a living quarter in which terrorist groups thrive, said Laçiner, adding that the PKK is obviously targeting democracy, the EU membership process and efforts to rid the country of criminal gangs.
Bloodshed could continue, says Laçiner
Istanbul Governor Muammer Güler said yesterday that the explosions appear to be linked to the PKK, but the group denied involvement, according to press reports. Deniz Baykal, the main opposition leader, said in Istanbul that security officials told him the type of bombs used were similar to those used in deadly attacks in Ankara and Diyarbakır that were blamed on the PKK.
Sunday's attack comes amid the military's ongoing air strikes at terrorist targets in northern Iraq, which is used by the PKK as a springboard for attacks in Turkey's southeastern region. The latest military strike was this past weekend when the General Staff announced that Turkish jets bombed 12 PKK targets.
�The PKK is trying to maintain its existence by resorting to such hostile attacks, since it cannot bring down a (Turkish) military aircraft flying in the sky,� said Laçiner.
�The terrorist group is very open to manipulation. Sub-factions that have begun to emerge within the organization are carrying out strange attacks and this bloodshed could continue in the upcoming period,� Laçiner said.
Özcan said the PKK was under pressure due to the military's continuous blockade and stressed that, by launching bloody attacks, the group is trying to pressure the government to change its position on continuing cross-border operations into northern Iraq.