Bombings Target Turkey Police, Military Vehicles; 14 Killed, 220 Wounded

Erdogan Blames Both Coup Plotters and Kurds for Incidents

by Jason Ditz, August 18, 2016

A string of bombings in eastern Turkey today targeted a pair of police stations and a military convoy, killing at least 14 security forces and wounding over 220 others. The death toll is expected to rise, as many of the wounded are in serious condition.

The attacks are in the Kurdish southeast, where Turkey has been carrying out a protracted war against the PKK for decades. President Erdogan has been keen to blame virtually all incidents in the country on the PKK, even when there is no evidence.

But with last month’s failed coup, Erdogan has also sought to blame the Gulen movement for all of Turkey’s ills, so today he tried to blame both, saying the Kurds were to blame for the attacks but that Gulen and his followers were “complicit.”

Erdogan offered no evidence for either side’s involvement. Top PKK figures have threatened escalations in the near future over ongoing military offensives against them, which makes them the more likely suspect.

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