The order for the attack came from the northern Syrian city of Kobane, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Monday. There, the Turkish armed forces have repeatedly taken action against the Syrian-Kurdish militia YPG, which Ankara regards as a terrorist organization and offshoot of the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK. The person alleged to have planted the bomb in Istanbul’s Istiklal shopping street also traveled through the northern Syrian region of Afrin, Soylu said. This person was arrested. In addition, about 21 other suspects were arrested. Images were shown on television of what appeared to be a woman dropping a package at the scene of the crime.
Six people were killed and more than 80 injured in the attack on the busy shopping street in the Bosphorus metropolis on Sunday. According to the authorities, 31 injured were still being treated in hospital on Monday, two of them were therefore in critical condition. In the past, Istanbul and other Turkish cities have repeatedly been shaken by politically motivated attacks by militant Kurdish and Islamist groups.