Police have arrested a suspect who is believed to have planted the bomb that exploded on a bustling pedestrian avenue in Istanbul, Turkey’s interior minister Süleyman Soylu said on Nov. 14, reports TurkicWorld with the reference to Hurriyet Daily News.
“Our assessment is that the order for the deadly terror attack came from Ayn al-Arab in northern Syria, where the PKK/YPG has its Syrian headquarters,” said Soylu.
The bomber has been identified as Syrian national Ahlam Albashir.
Six people were killed and 81 people were wounded in Sunday’s explosion on İstiklal Avenue, a popular thoroughfare lined with shops and restaurants that leads to the iconic Taksim Square.
“A little while ago, the person who left the bomb was detained by our Istanbul Police Department teams,” Soylu said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the bombing a "vile attack" that had the "smell of terror".
A nine-year old girl and her father, as well as a 15-year-old girl and her mother were among those killed in the attack.
Istanbul police said Monday that 46 people had been detained in total.
Soylu also blamed the United States, saying "we do not accept the US embassy's message of condolences. We reject it," in televised comments
Soylu said of the 81 people who were hospitalized, 50 were discharged.
Five of the wounded were receiving emergency care and two of them were in life-threatening condition, he said.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the U.S. and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is its Syrian offshoot.
Istiklal Avenue was reopened to pedestrian traffic at 6 a.m. on Monday after police concluded inspections at the scene.
On Sunday, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ told that investigators were focusing on a woman who sat on a bench by the scene of the blast for about 40 minutes. The explosion took place just minutes after she left.