Istanbul terror attacks: Cops arrest 235
Those arrested include mayors and provincial officials accused of having links with the outlawed PKK
A woman reacts at the site of an explosion where flowers have been placed for the victims of the December 10 blasts, on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
Ankara: The Turkish police have arrested 235 people, including pro-Kurdish politicians, for acting on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the interior ministry has said. Those held include officials from the main Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP).
The arrests come two days after twin bomb attacks near a football stadium in Istanbul, which killed 44 people.
The interior ministry said the arrests are on terrorism-related charges and for spreading terrorist propaganda on social media. The arrested include mayors and provincial officials accused of having links with the PKK, as well as members of the HDP.
The car bomb and suicide attack killed eight civilians and 36 police officers stationed in BeÅÂÂiktaÅÂÂ, on Istanbul's European side, Recep Akdag, the health minister, said. At least 150 people were wounded.
The bombings were claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks, an offshoot of the PKK, which has been fighting an insurgency against the Turkish state for decades.
Tensions have risen in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast over the past year and a half after the collapse of a peace process. There have been multiple attacks by the PKK and its offshoots as well as by the IS.
Mayor blames BBC for twin attacks
Mayor of Ankara Melih Gokcek has called on the BBC to explain what had happened, even alleging the corporation had "a hand in" the atrocity. He tweeted: "BBC rented an apt where they can monitor the explosion clearly in advance and started broadcasting within 3-4 mins [of the attack].
11 No. of cities from where the arrests were made
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Three cops killed in terror attack on police station