The Turkish government blamed Kurdish militants for the “vile attack” that killed six people on Istanbul’s main shopping avenue. Police reportedly detained 22 suspects, including the bomb planter, who seemed to be a woman.
According to Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, the order for the blast on Istiklal Avenue was issued in Kobani, a city in northern Syria where Turkish forces have recently conducted operations against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.
Turkish media reported that the attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue left at least six persons dead and 81 injured, citing Turkish authorities.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the attack in Istanbul was a “vile attack,” stating in a news conference that the attack “smelled like terrorism.”
The historic Istiklal Avenue, a famous destination for shoppers and tourists with a tramline, was the scene of an explosive package being left by a person who appeared to be a woman, according to television news sources, according to Reuters.
The assertion by Ankara that Kurdish militants were responsible for the attack on Sunday comes amid a protracted conflict between Turkish forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party known as PKK.
However, no group or organization has taken responsibility for the Istanbul blast, despite the fact that Kurdish and other leftist movements have targeted Istanbul in the past after a twin blast in 2016 left at least 155 people injured and 38 dead.