"The attack on Istiklal Avenue is yet another massacre of civilians that we've seen many times before from the PKK (terror group). We found the perpetrator right away, and now we're deciphering the whole structure behind it," Suleyman Soylu told lawmakers.
Soylu underlined that both the perpetrator of the Istanbul terror attack and another terrorist, who carried out a separate attack on a police station in the southern Mersin province, had come from Manbij, which he stressed is currently occupied by the PKK/YPG terrorist organization.
A police officer was killed and another injured in that terror attack, which took place in September.
"The Mersin attack came from Manbij and the Istiklal Avenue attack also came from Manbij," he said, adding that "America stands in Manbij, the PKK stands in Manbij."
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the terror group’s Syrian offshoot.
Earlier, Turkish Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said "terror attacks against our civilians are direct and indirect consequences of some countries’ support for terror groups."
Soylu noted that Turkish security forces had prevented 200 terrorist acts in the last 12 months, underlining that both recent attacks were attempts to pull Türkiye back into the grip of global instability.
He said Türkiye is fighting against a terrorist structure that receives foreign support, with the US Senate providing $2 billion in aid to the PKK/YPG terror group in the last three years alone.
An investigation into the weekend bombing in Istanbul that claimed six lives and injured 81 is currently underway. Two of the victims are in critical condition, according to security sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Source: Anadolu Agency