US Consulate Targeted in TurkeyAugust 11, 2015 in Turkey
On Monday (10 August), the United States Consulate in Istanbul was targeted by two women, with at least nine people killed in a series of separate attacks, which has raised fears that Ankara’s decision to launch a crackdown on the Islamic State (IS) group as well as Kurdish and far-left militants will trigger more violence on Turkish soil.
At 1AM local time, a car carrying explosives struck a police station in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli neighbourhood. Officials have reported that three policemen and seven bystanders were wounded in the incident, and that the attacker was killed. Less than six hours later, two gunmen opened fire on the same police station, setting off a gunfight, which resulted in the deaths of two attackers and one police officer. There was no claim of responsibility for either attack and so far, IS has not issued any statements about the police station assaults.
At 7AM on Monday, two women targeted the US Consulate in the Sariyer district. According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, there were no casualties, and one of the two women was captured. The news agency has reported that authorities have identified her as Hatice Asik, 42, of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). Turkey’s foreign ministry has condemned the attack, stating that security at US diplomatic missions were being tightened. On the ground sources have reported that police with automatic rifles cordoned off streets around the US consulate. Two years ago, the DHKP-C, which is designated a terrorist group by both Turkey and the US, killed a Turkish security guard and wounded several others in a suicide attack that targeted the US Embassy in Ankara. Monday’s attack came a day after the US sent six F-16 fighter jets and about 300 personnel to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, as part of coalition efforts to fight IS. Late on Monday, the DHKP-C claimed on its website that one of its female militants carried out the attack.
Elsewhere in Turkey on Monday, a roadside bombing in southeastern Sirnak province killed four policemen and wounded another. One soldier was killed when a military helicopter drew fire in the province in an attack that officials have blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Since launching strikes on IS fighters in Syria and PKK militants in northern Iraq, Turkey, which is a NATO member, has been in a heightened state of alert. Authorities in the country have also rounded up hundreds of suspected militants.