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 Turkish police hold 27 after deadly Istanbul bombing

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Turkish police hold 27 after deadly Istanbul bombing  23.6.2010  

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June 23, 2010

ISTANBUL, — The Turkish police have detained 27 people as part of a probe into a deadly bombing on a bus in Istanbul, Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday.

The roadside bomb, detonated by remote control, targeted a bus carrying army personnel to work Tuesday, killing four Turkish soldiers and the teenage daughter of an officer and wounding about a dozen people.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspected perpetrators of the attack were among the 27 detainees, rounded up in a joint operation by anti-terror police and special forces, according to Anatolia.

Meanwhile ANF news agency reported that at least 11 people were detained during an operation against the pro-Kurdish BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) in Istanbul.             

File Photo: Turkish police. EPA photo
Many houses in Küçükçekmece and Başakşehir were raided by police. Among the 11 detaines are also BDP members and executives. The names of the detainees are as follows; : Aytekin Aydemir, Rasim Ağraş, M. Selim Özer, Lütfü Balbal, Yusuf Turan, Reşit Mete, Yeter Akbay, İsmail Özdemir, Mehmet Altıntaş, Behçet Gök, Halit Erik. the website reported Wednesday.

Radical Kurdish militants from the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons TAK claimed responsibility for the blast, the latest episode in surging violence since jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan said through his lawyers last month he was abandoning efforts to seek dialogue with Ankara for a peaceful end to the 26-year Kurdish conflict.

Ocalan's separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) had threatened to spread violence to urban areas after it killed 12 soldiers in weekend attacks in remote regions in the mainly Kurdish southeast [Turkey Kurdistan].

The attacks have triggered nationwide outrage and turned up pressure on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for tougher measures against the PKK,
www.ekurd.netwith many also urging him to shelve plans to expand Kurdish freedoms.

Popular anger simmered at the funeral of the youngest victim of Tuesday's bombing, 17-year-old high school student Buse Sariyag, who was travelling on the bus with her father. She was laid to rest in Elmadag, an Ankara suburb.

"The martyrs are immortal, the motherland is indivisible," shouted a crowd of some 5,000 people, waving Turkish flags, as they marched to the cemetary after funeral prayers at a local mosque.

Army chief Ilker Basbug and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek attended the funeral.

Erdogan's government has pledged to boost Kurdish freedoms and economic development in the southeast, hoping to discourage separatism and cajole the PKK into laying down arms.

The faltering initiative, announced last year, has met with public hostility amid persisting rebel violence, but Erdogan said Tuesday he remained committed to reform.

Ankara however rejects dialogue with the PKK, insisting the rebels should either surrender or face the army.

Since 1984 the PKK took up arms for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey [Turkey-Kurdistan] which has claimed around 45,000 lives of Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas.

The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds' identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country's Kurdish areas,
www.ekurd.netthe party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.

A large Turkey's Kurdish community estimate to 25 million openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

The PKK is considered a 'terrorist' organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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