PKK deny link to Turkey bombings

July 28th, 2008 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Ankara, July 28 (DPA) A senior Kurdish separatist figure Monday denied that the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) had carried out a bomb attack in Istanbul Sunday night that killed 17 people and left more than 150 injured. “This is a dark incident… This incident has no connection to the Kurdish freedom struggle. They cannot make a connection with the PKK,” Zubeyir Aydar, a former Turkish parliamentarian who is now head of the political section of the PKK, told the PKK-inked Firat news agency.

There were two blasts in a crowded pedestrian street in the suburb of Gungoren on the European side of Istanbul Sunday night. The small bomb was followed by a much larger blast around 10 to 12 minutes later and around 50 metres down the street, Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler told reporters at the scene of the blast.

There were conflicting reports over whether Kurdish separatists may have been behind the blasts. Milliyet newspaper quoted an intelligence officer in Ankara who said the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) had denied any responsibility.

Opposition leader Deniz Baykal also said, citing his sources, that the PKK was indeed behind the attack.

“According to information I have received from the police this was the work of the PKK,” NTV television quoted Baykal.

Ankara blames the separatist group for the deaths of more than 32,000 people since the early 1980s when the PKK began its fight for independence or autonomy for the mainly Kurdish-populated south-east of Turkey.

The PKK is listed by the United States and the European Union as a terrorist group.

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