Turkey Bomb Attack: Turkey’s Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said that two terrorists carried out a bomb attack in front of the Interior Ministry buildings in Ankara, adding that one of them died in the explosion and the other was “neutralized” by authorities there.
An explosion was heard near the parliament and ministerial buildings, Turkish media had earlier reported, and broadcasters showed footage of debris scattered on a street nearby.
The blast was the first in Ankara since 2016 and comes on the day that parliament was set to open a new session.
Reuters footage showed soldiers, ambulances, fire trucks, and armored vehicles gathered at the ministry near the center of Turkey’s capital.
Saat 09.30 sıralarında İçişleri Bakanlığımız Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü giriş kapısı önüne hafif ticari araçla gelen 2 terörist bombalı saldırı eyleminde bulunmuştur.
Teröristlerden biri kendini patlatmış, diğer terörist etkisiz hale getirilmiştir.
Açılan ateş sırasında 2 Emniyet…
— Ali Yerlikaya (@AliYerlikaya) October 1, 2023
Yerlikaya said on social media platform X that two police officers were slightly injured in the incident at 9:30 am (0630 GMT).
“Two terrorists came with a light commercial vehicle in front of the entrance gate of the General Directorate of Security of our Ministry of Internal Affairs and carried out a bomb attack,” he said.
He added that one blew himself up and the other was “neutralised”, which usually means was killed. “Our struggle will continue until the last terrorist is neutralized,” Yerlikaya wrote.
Ankara’s chief prosecutor launched an investigation into what it also called a terrorist attack.
Authorities did not identify any specific militant group. Police also announced they would carry out controlled explosions for “suspicious package incidents” in other parts of Ankara.
The blast comes almost a year after six people were killed and 81 wounded in an explosion in a busy pedestrian street in central Istanbul. Turkey blamed Kurdish militants for that.
During a spate of violence in 2015 and 2016, Kurdish militants, Islamic State, and other groups either claimed or were blamed for several attacks in major Turkish cities.
In March 2016, 37 people were killed in Ankara when a bomb-laden car exploded at a crowded central transport hub.
President Tayyip Erdogan was set at 7:30 pm to attend the opening of parliament, which in the coming weeks is expected to consider ratifying Sweden’s bid to join NATO after Turkey had raised initial objections.
Turkish media reported that authorities were carrying out checks of the parliament after the blast at the ministry.
A source told Reuters that the entrance was open but no cars were allowed through as part of the precautions.
The attack comes as Turkey is already facing a number of challenges, including a struggling economy and high inflation. The country is also involved in a number of regional conflicts, including the Syrian civil war and the fight against the Islamic State group.
The bombing is a reminder of the ongoing threat of terrorism in Turkey and the region. It is also a setback for Turkey’s efforts to improve relations with its Western allies.