FILE: Timeline of Turkey terror attacks to convince anti-war Turkish community intervene Syria
Turkey has in the past couple of years witnessed a spike in brutal terror attacks, in which both security forces and civilians were targeted. The increase in extremist violence has elicited angry responses from Turkish authorities who have vowed to fight to the end against the terrorists and to destroy the source of such brutality.
Turkish leaders argue that these incidents are meant to destabilize the country. The deteriorating sense of security has harmed the country’s once thriving tourism sector beyond repair.
Many political observers believe that it is time Turkey gave serious consideration to revising its contentious regional policies – which they blame for the rise in terrorist attacks – including Ankara’s controversial approach to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
The Turkish government has been facing harsh criticism over its support for extremist groups fighting the Syrian government, its invasion of northern Syrian territory, its unwelcome presence on Iraqi soil as well as its unwanted contribution to Baghdad’s operation to liberate the militant-held city of Mosul.
Turkish cities and towns were struck by terror attacks over 20 times in 2016 alone. Here is a look at the most significant ones:
July, 20, 2015: Suruc
– A bomb explodes in the southeastern Turkish town, near the Syrian border, during a meeting of left-wing activists. 33 people are killed and over 100 injured. Daesh claims responsibility for the attack.
October 10, 2015: Ankara
– Twin suicide bombings target a pro-Kurdish peace rally in Ankara, killing 103 people and injuring more than 500. The government puts the blame on Daesh terrorists.
January 12, 2015: Istanbul
– 12 German tourists are killed and more than a dozen others wounded in an attack in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district. The attack is blamed on Daesh Takfiri militants.
February 17, 2016: Ankara
– A Kurdish militant group targets the Turkish military in Ankara. As many as 28 people are killed and about 80 others hurt in the attack.
March 13, 2016: Ankara
– A car bomb blast in the capital city leaves 34 people dead and dozens wounded. The Kurdish militant group TAK claims responsibility.
June 28, 2016: Ataturk Airport
– 47 people, including foreigners are killed and over 200 injured in bomb and gun attacks by Daesh terrorists at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.
August 20, 2016: Gaziantep
– A bomb attack on a Kurdish wedding in the city of Gaziantep near the Syrian border leaves nearly 60 people dead, many of them children. Ankara blames the attack on the Daesh terror group.
December 10, 2016: Istanbul
– Bombings in the wake of a football match in Istanbul leave 44 people, mainly police officers, dead and scores of others wounded. Kurdish militant group TAK claims responsibility.
December 19, 2016: Ankara
– Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, is shot dead at an art gallery in the capital by an off-duty policeman.
January 1, 2017: Istanbul
– A gunman barges into a nightclub in the Turkish city, opening fire on New Year revelers, killing at least 39 people, and injuring nearly 70. Up to 700 people were inside the club when the attack took place. The Daesh terror group claims responsibility.