ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said an attack on Istanbul’s tourist heart on Tuesday that killed 10 people and wounded 15 was carried out by a suicide bomber of Syrian origin and foreigners were among the dead.
“I strongly condemn the terror attack which was carried out by a suicide bomber of Syrian origin,” Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara in his first reaction to the blast.
“Unfortunately there are fatalities, including locals and foreigners. This incident showed again we have to stand together in the face of terror.”
“Turkey’s determined position will not change. We don’t make any difference between the names or abbreviations (of terror groups).”
“The first target of all the terror groups active in this region is Turkey. Because Turkey fights them all with the same determination,” he added.
Turkey has been on high alert after a series of attacks blamed on the Islamic State jihadist group including a double suicide bombing in the capital Ankara in October that left 103 people dead.
But Turkey is also waging an all-out assault on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which Ankara and its Western allies classify as a terror group.