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besiktas bomb attack


Over two hundreds people have been arrested in Turkey for acting on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the interior ministry says.

Among those 235  arrested are officials from the main Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

The arrests come two days after twin bomb attacks near Istanbul’s Besiktas stadium which killed 44 people.

Meanwhile, Austria says that talks with Turkey over membership of the EU should be suspended.

Image source RT

Image source RT

A statement from the interior ministry says the operation covered 11 provinces across Turkey from the northwest to the southeast, and targeted people suspected of “spreading terror group propaganda”.

It is not clear whether December 12 arrests were directly related to the bomb attacks.

Speaking in parliament, Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag said most of the 44 people killed on December 10 were policemen.

The Kurdish militant group TAK, an offshoot of the PKK, said in a statement it had carried out the attack.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on December 11 that Turkey would fight “the scourge of terrorism to the end”, and promised that the attackers would pay a “heavy price”.

Last month, 10 HDP lawmakers – including co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag – were arrested, causing international alarm.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said that Europe could no longer ignore President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on the opposition.

At least 38 people have been killed and many more injured in a twin bomb attack on police officers outside Besiktas stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.

A car bomb hit a police car and a suicide bomber detonated a suicide vest in quick succession on December 10.

The explosions occurred near the stadium of the top-division team, two hours after a match. Ten arrests were made.

Image source RT

Image source RT

Turkish government says initial findings point towards Kurdish militants, who have targeted police in the past.

Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmus told CNN Turk news channel that “arrows point” to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).

According to officials, 30 of those killed in the attack were police officers.

A further 155 people were being treated in hospital, 14 of them in intensive care, health officials say.

Images posted on Instagram after the explosion showed helmets strewn on a road and damaged cars.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the explosions “aimed to maximize casualties”.

The blasts came two hours after the end of the match between top teams Bursaspor at Besiktas at the Vodafone Arena.