2008-07-28 19:02:21 GMT 2008-07-29 03:02:21 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
Policemen hold back residents, as medics stand next to victims who lost their lives in two bomb explosions, in Istanbul late July 27, 2008. Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler said 13 people were killed and some 140 others wounded in twin bomb explosions. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
ANKARA, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The twin deadly blasts in the Turkish largest city of Istanbul have been making Turkish people determine to fight against terrorism.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Monday reaffirmed his country 's determination to fight against terrorism, saying that terrorism would never daunt Turkey which would counter it with determination till the very end, adding that Turkey and all Turkish people would continue to condemn terrorism harshly.
"These incidents will strengthen our national solidarity," Gul said, referring to two bomb attacks in Istanbul late Sunday.
Following the bombing of the Turkish jets on 12 targets of the banned Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in Qandil region in northern Iraq early Sunday, the two bombs exploded minutes apart in one of Istanbul's busiest districts on Sunday night, leaving 17 people dead and over 150 others injured, including seven people in serious conditions.
Turkish private NTV television quoted Sedat Laciner of the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization as saying on Monday, "the PKK seems to be the most likely instigator, if you look at the type of explosives and the bomb mechanism used."
After Istanbul was hit by the twin blasts, the Governor of the city Muammer Guler said that "It is certain that this is a terror attack," adding "the bombs were placed in rubbish bins. It was not a suicide bombing."
Turkey has conducted frequent air raids on suspected positions of the PKK in northern Iraq. In February, it launched an eight-day ground incursion into Iraq.
The PKK, listed by the United States and Turkey as a terrorist group, took up arms in 1984 with the aim of creating an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey. About 40,000 people have been killed in the over-two-decade conflict.
However, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Hayati Yazici said after visiting the scene of the attacks, "we know it is a terrorist attack, but which organization is responsible, we don't yet have that information."
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also called on people to unite against terrorism, stressing the importance of unity and integrity of citizens facing terrorist attacks.
Erdogan offered his condolences to the families of victims, saying, "there were 154 injured people after the explosions. Now, we have 50 wounded citizens at hospitals, the rest of them were discharged. Seven of our citizens are in serious condition."
Erdogan said terrorism was a phenomenon which did not have religion, nation or race, adding that Turkey had been combating terrorism for 30 to 35 years.
"If people continue supporting political groups backing terrorism, then terrorism will continue to become stronger, not weaker," said Erdogan.
"Our security forces and soldiers go on countering terrorism, and will continue to do so," Erdogan reaffirmed.
In a message posted on the General Staff's website, General Staff Chief Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said, "I strongly condemn the abhorrent attacks in Gungoren district targeting our innocent citizens. The attacks which were staged in a crowded street at a busy hour and without discriminating between men and women, young, old and children, showed once again the gory face, ruthlessness and despair of terrorism. I believe that those who carried out this inhuman bombing will be arrested and brought to justice to account for their acts."
"This incident will further consolidate our unity and solidarity in our fight against terrorism and strengthen our determination," he added.
Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday strongly condemned Sunday's Istanbul bombings.
"The Secretary General strongly condemns yesterday's bombings in Istanbul...(and) his sympathies to the families of the victims and the wounded," his spokeswoman Michele Montas said in a statement.
Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security policy, on Monday said in a statement, "I condemn in the strongest possible terms the despicable bombing attack that took many innocent lives and injured dozens of people in Istanbul yesterday evening."
"Turkey can count on the support of the European Union. I hope that the perpetrators of this heinous terrorist act will be swiftly brought to justice," Solana said.
White House, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, as well as Spanish and Iranian governments condemned the Istanbul terrorist attacks.
In a word, thousands of shocked and angry residents in Istanbul blamed the PKK rebels on Monday for the two bomb explosions and Turkey was trying to get support from the international community in a bid to fight against terrorism.