Turkey detains nearly 1,000, including alleged Kurdish militants and news presenter

President Erdogan calls on allies for support days after attack in Ankara

CCTV footage captures the moment Ankara was hit by a suicide blast.
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on his country's allies to take "concrete steps" to support his government as security forces detained almost 1,000 people in raids, days after a suicide bombing in the Turkish capital.

The arrests included dozens with alleged links to Kurdish militants as well as an opposition news presenter.

Mr Erdogan, speaking at the opening ceremony of a Council of State centre in Ankara, said he expected more support from Turkey's allies.

"We want to see concrete steps from friends in addition to messages of condemnation," he said.

"They should know that statements that condemn terrorism and console us will not heal our wounds."

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said police carried out raids in 16 Turkish provinces, detaining 55 people suspected of being part of the “intelligence structure” of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

At least 12 other suspected PKK members were rounded up in a separate operation in five provinces, Mr Yerlikaya wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Those detained include several members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), said Ibrahim Akin, the spokesman for the Green Left coalition under which the HDP ran in the last general elections.

A news presenter, 73, was also detained after questioning details of the official account of the attack on opposition broadcaster Halk TV.

Aysenur Arslan was detained at her home after prosecutors accused her of spreading “terrorist propaganda” and “praising criminal activity” following comments made during her TV programme on Monday morning.

Turkish security forces often conduct mass arrests after terror attacks, but this operation was one of the largest in recent years.

In 2021, Turkish authorities arrested nearly 800 people after an attack by the PKK in southern Turkey.

The PKK claimed responsibility for Sunday's suicide attack, a news website linked to the group said.

On Tuesday evening, the Turkish air force conducted more air strikes in northern Iraq and destroyed 16 PKK targets, Turkey's Defence Ministry said.

The strikes hit the Metina, Gara, Hakurk, Qandil and Asos regions of northern Iraq at 8pm, the ministry said.

It said every measure was taken to avoid harm to civilians and the environment.

The PKK has engaged in a decades-long insurgency in Turkey and is considered a terror organisation by the US and the EU.

Tens of thousands of people have died since the start of the conflict in 1984.

Updated: October 03, 2023, 7:09 PM