Violence in Turkey Linked to Nation's Support for US Militarism
Attack on U.S. consulate in Istanbul follows separate attacks elsewhere in the country
Violence rocked Turkey on Monday, as two women reportedly opened fire on the U.S. consulate in Istanbul and a series of separate attacks throughout the country left at least eight people dead.
The incidents come amid rising tensions over Turkey's involvement in the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State militants.
On Sunday, the U.S. military announced that six F-16 fighter jets and some 300 personnel had been deployed to Turkey's southern Incirlik Air Base to join the fight against ISIS. Last month Turkey, which is a member of NATO, conducted aerial strikes against ISIS positions in Syria and agreed to let the U.S.-led coalition use its bases in its war against the militants.
As Reuters reports:
The NATO member has been in a heightened state of alert since starting its "synchronized war on terror" last month, including air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq. It has also rounded up hundreds of suspected militants at home.
One of the assailants in Monday's attack on the U.S. consulate was reportedly wounded and detained. Turkey's Dogan news agency said the injured woman was 51 years old and had served prison time for being a suspected member of the far-leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), described by Reuters as "virulently anti-American and...listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and Turkey."
Al Jazeera America notes that DHKP-C also claimed responsibility for a 2013 suicide attack on the U.S. embassy in Ankara, which killed a Turkish security guard.
Overnight from Sunday into Monday, a separate attack took place on the other side of the city. According to the BBC:
In the other attack in Istanbul, on a police station in the district of Sultanbeyli, a car bomb was detonated, injuring 10 people, including three police officers.
Two suspected militants were killed in ensuing clashes with police and an injured police officer died later in hospital.
Also Monday, according to the Guardian:
In Turkey’s south-eastern Sirnak province, four police officers were killed when their armored vehicle was hit by roadside explosives in the town of Silopi.
A soldier was also killed when Kurdish militants opened fire on a military helicopter in a separate attack in Sirnak, the military said in a statement. Security sources said at least seven other soldiers were wounded in the attack, which came as the helicopter took off.
Turkey's Anadolu Agency adds that a remote-controlled roadside bomb was used in that incident, and that the Sirnak Governor's Office has vowed to launch a "large-scale operation... to find the perpetrators of this terrorist attack."