Turkey says it has made several arrests in connection with
the deadly bombings Thursday of the British consulate general
and a branch of a London-based bank in Istanbul. Twenty-seven
people died, and more than 400 were wounded in the blasts.
Western governments are warning that Turkey could be in for
still more terrorist attacks.
|Wounded person is helped outside
of British Consulate after explosion, Thursday
A day after suicide bombers staged the twin attacks on British
targets, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul told reporters
the investigation into the blasts is making progress.
"Some people have been arrested, but I think it's too early
to give more information about them," he said.
Mr. Gul's announcement came as one usually reliable Turkish
newspaper, Hurriyet, reported that seven people have
been arrested in conjunction with Thursday's attacks, and
that police believe the two car bombers were Turkish nationals
and close associates of the suicide bombers who staged attacks
last Saturday against two Istanbul synagogues. Those attacks
killed 25 people and wounded more than 300.
The United States and Britain have issued warnings that Turkey
could be the target of more terrorist attacks because of its
alliance with western nations that promote it as an example
of a successful secular Muslim democracy.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who inspected what
remains of his country's consulate general early Friday,
told reporters, international terrorists played a part in
"They appear to be perpetrated by al-Qaida and its associates," he
An al-Qaida branch, known as the Abu Hafz al-Masri Brigades,
has claimed responsibility for the twin attacks on British
interests, as well as the bombings of the synagogues. And
a militant Islamic Turkish group known as the Islamic Great
Eastern Raiders Front says it undertook all four attacks
in association with al-Qaida.
Mr. Straw says the global terrorist offensive needs a global
"The fact that this is the second set of atrocities here
in Turkey in the space of a week, that it has followed terrorist
atrocities that have taken place across the world - in Indonesia,
in Saudi Arabia, in Morocco, across Europe, in the United
States - shows that we who represent the civilized world
are facing a global threat, and we have to deal with it in
a global way," he said.
Turkey's worst week of terrorist violence in years comes
as the country's economy is just beginning to recover from
a severe financial crisis. The most recent terrorist attacks
have threatened its important tourism industry and unnerved