01:30 GMT24 June 2021
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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the terrorist attack in Ankara was directed against all of Turkey, "against all 79 million citizens of the country."

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — Sunday's deadly blast in Ankara was an attack against the whole of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.

    A car bomb exploded late on Sunday at a bus stop in central Ankara, leaving at least 37 dead and over 120 injured. Turkish police detained at least 11 people in connection with the attack. The Turkish authorities said they had identified one of the suspected suicide bombers as a female Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) member Seher Cagla Demir. The second suspect was a male Turkish citizen with alleged links to the Kurdish militants.

    "The bloody terrorist act was directed against all of Turkey, against all 79 million citizens of the country. Through this attack, the terrorist organization has revealed its despicable face. The attack aimed to sow fear among our people, forcing Turkey to reject its principles. But they will never succeed in this. Those using terror as a tool will never make Turkey kneel. On the contrary, they will kneel themselves," Erdogan said during a joint press conference with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

    In response to the attack, Erdogan canceled his trip to Azerbaijan, while Aliyev offered to visit Turkey instead in a gesture of solidarity.

    Azerbaijan has proven its solidarity with Turkey at a difficult time, the Turkish president added.

    Turkey has been hit by numerous terrorist attacks in recent months, with both Islamist and Kurdish militant groups allegedly responsible.

    Relations between Ankara and the Kurds both inside the country and in neighboring Syria and Iraq have been progressively worsening. Tensions escalated in July 2015 as fighting between the PKK and the Turkish army resumed. Violence escalated further in December, when the Turkish authorities declared a curfew in a number of southeastern regions.


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    terrorist attack, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara, Turkey
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