Turkey suffers wave of attacks in Istanbul, southeast

By bne IntelliNews August 10, 2015

bne IntelliNews -

 

At least six members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in a wave of attacks on August 10, in the latest signs of instability since Ankara launched its crackdown on terrorist groups "without distinction”, including Islamic State, Kurdish and far-left militants.

The assaults began in the early hours when a suicide bomb attack targeted a police station in the city’s Sultanbeyli district. Ten people were injured, including three police officers, in the bomb attack. One senior police officer and two suspected assailants were killed in subsequent exchange of fire in the Sultanbeyli district.

Then two assailants opened fire at the US consulate compound in Istanbul. According to media, two attackers opened fire at the U.S consulate compound in Istanbul’s Sariyer district. One of the attackers was apprehended who local media identified as a member of the far-leftist group DHKP-C (Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front). The group claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack at the US embassy in Ankara two years ago that killed a security guard.

Separately, four policemen were killed in a mine attack in the south-eastern town of Sirnak, while one soldier was killed in the town of Sirnak, also in the country’s southeast, when PKK militants opened fire on a helicopter.

When a suicide bomb attack in the Turkish border town of Suruc killed more than 30 people in July, blamed on the Islamic State, Turkey began a series of operations that it labelled a war on terrorist groups "without distinction".

It launched airstrikes on IS targets in northern Syria. Turkey’s military simultaneously bombed PKK bases in northern Iraq and rounded up scores of PKK sympathisers and DHKP-C members in Turkey, dealing another blow to hopes of an end to the decades-long Kurdish rebellion in the south-east of the country. The government also opened its air bases to the US-led coalition against IS – something it had been reluctant to do despite being a Nato member.

It is a high-risk strategy for a country that depends so heavily on tourism and an economy that is already suffering. Investors have been fleeing the country worried about regional instability and a looming US interest rate hike, pushing down the Turkish lira to record lows. According to Bloomberg, the lira’s latest fall to 2.7667 per dollar on August 7 made it the worst performing currency after Russia’s ruble among the 24 emerging market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. By mid-afternoon the main stock index the BIST 100 was down 1.5%.

 

 

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