Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
Final hours: unlock premium data with Claim 60% OFF

After Ankara bombing, Turkey hits back in Iraq and at home

Published Oct 02, 2023 01:31AM ET Updated Oct 02, 2023 02:57PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
5/5 © Reuters. Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament as he attends the reopening of the Turkish parliament after the summer recess in Ankara, Turkey, October 1, 2023. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/PPO/Handout via REUTERS 2/5
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio

By Daren Butler

ISTANBUL (Reuters) -Turkey said it unleashed air strikes on militant targets in northern Iraq and detained suspects in Istanbul overnight, hours after Kurdish militants said they orchestrated the first bomb attack in the capital Ankara in years.

On Sunday morning, two attackers detonated a bomb near government buildings in Ankara, killing them both and wounding two police officers. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group claimed responsibility.

The defence ministry said many militants were "neutralised", a term mostly used to mean killed, in air strikes that destroyed 20 targets - caves, shelters and depots used by the PKK in Iraq's Metina, Hakurk, Qandil and Gara regions.

Turkey has stepped up military action against the PKK in northern Iraq over the last few years in operations it says are conducted under self-defence rights arising from Article 51 of the United Nations charter.

Iraqi President Abdul-Latif Rashid said in comments aired on Monday that Iraq rejected repeated Turkish air strikes or the presence of Turkish bases in its Kurdistan region and hoped to come to an agreement with Ankara to solve the problem.

The PKK is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union. It launched an insurgency in southeast Turkey in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

On Sunday, CCTV footage seen by Reuters showed a vehicle pulling up outside the interior ministry's main gate in Ankara and one of its occupants quickly walking toward the building before being engulfed in an explosion.

The bomb killed one attacker and security forces killed the other, the interior minister said. The blast rattled a district that is home to ministries and the parliament, in an attack coinciding with the reopening of the assembly.

One attacker was identified as a PKK member and work was continuing on identifying the other one, an interior ministry statement said, adding that explosives, grenades, a rocket launcher and various guns were seized at the scene.

It said the attackers had hijacked the vehicle and killed its driver in Kayseri, a city 260 km (161 miles) southeast of Ankara.


Counterterrorism police have since detained 20 people in raids targeting PKK-linked suspects in Istanbul and elsewhere, Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said on Monday.

A provincial Kurdish spokesman and district heads of a large pro-Kurdish political party were among those detained, suspected of collecting aid and providing shelter for PKK members, Yerlikaya said on messaging platform X.

The ANF News website, which is close to the PKK, cited the militant group as saying in a statement on Sunday that a team from its Immortals Battalion unit had carried out the attack.

The bomb on Ataturk Boulevard was the first in Ankara since 2016, when there was a spate of attacks in Turkish cities claimed by Kurdish militants, Islamic State and other groups.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters that Washington strongly condemns Sunday's attack and stands with NATO ally Turkey.

"We recognize the legitimate security threat the PKK poses to Turkey and we urge Turkey to pursue joint counterterrorism cooperation with Iraq in a way that supports and respects Iraqi sovereignty," Miller added.

Turkey's armed forces have in recent years conducted several large-scale military operations in northern Iraq and northern Syria against Kurdish militants.

President Tayyip Erdogan told parliament on Sunday that Turkey would maintain its strategy of a 30-km (19-mile) deep "security strip" beyond its southern borders with Syria and Iraq, and that "new steps" on this were a matter of time.

Asked whether Erdogan's comments signalled plans for a new large scale cross-border operation into Syria, Defence Minister Yasar Guler told reporters at a reception in parliament that the president did not say "anything new".

After Ankara bombing, Turkey hits back in Iraq and at home

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email