World Bulletin / News Desk
A car bomb a senior Turkish politician blamed on PKK militants exploded near a police station in a city near Turkey's southeastern border with Syria on Monday, killing at least eight people and wounding dozens more.
TV footage from Gaziantep showed a bus and the surrounding area ablaze and smoke billowing into the sky as firemen tried to fight the fire. Ambulances ferried casualties to hospital while anxious residents looked on.
"Unfortunately we lost eight citizens and nearly 60 people are getting treated at several hospitals according to our initial information," Erdal Ata, Gaziantep's governor, told reporters.
The explosion, which officials said was caused by a remote-controlled car bomb, is likely to further strain already tense relations between Turkey and its war-torn neighbour Syria.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but southeastern Turkey is frequently the scene of attacks by the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.
Turkey has accused Syria of supporting the PKK, which launched attacks in the region 28 years ago during which more than 40,000 people have been killed.
"The PKK ... is trying to provoke our citizens by targeting the civilian population directly. Our citizens must remain cool-headed," Omer Celik, deputy chairman of the ruling AK Party, wrote in his Twitter account.
ATTACK FOLLOWS TURKEY AID EFFORTS
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has tried to limit the impact of the conflict in Syria, where the PKK is exerting growing authority in some border areas. Ankara believes PKK militants are receiving arms from Syrian forces.
The attack came just two days after Turkey began handing out food and other humanitarian aid on the border to refugees fleeing the 17-month-old uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey has opened a centre in Gaziantep to receive international aid but is struggling to cope with an influx of almost 70,000 refugees. Before the conflict in Syria halted trade across the border, Gaziantep was a gateway into Turkey for many Syrians.
Turkey initially cultivated good relations with Assad's administration but relations have deteriorated sharply since the Syrian uprising began. Erdogan is now one of Assad's harshest critics and has raised the possibility of military intervention in Syria if the PKK becomes a threat there.
Turkey suspects a major Syrian Kurdish movement, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), of having links with the PKK. Turkish analysts believe Assad let the PYD take control of security of some towns in northern Syria to prevent locals from joining the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Fighting between the Turkish army and PKK militants has intensified in recent weeks in Turkey's southeastern Semdinli district bordering Iran and Iraq.
Suspected PKK members ambushed a Turkish military bus in western Turkey earlier this month.
Earlier on Monday, two Turkish soldiers were killed by a landmine on a road in southeast Turkey, an attack also believed to have been carried out by PKK militants, security sources said.
Turkish defense industry exports increased by 21 percent in January-August period reaching over $1 billion, according to the national association of exporters.
High inflation figures are largely related to food prices, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said.
Turkish Aerospace Industries handed last four of modernized F-16 fighters to Pakistan in a ceremony in Ankara on Tuesday.
Tuesday's newspapers cover the corruption probe targeting President's Erdogan's son, PM Davutoglu’s unveiling of the new government program as well as more detentions in Turkey’s ‘wiretapping’ sweep.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry urged Israel to withdraw their decision and stick to international law.
'To open the Halki Seminary (historic theological Greek school) is easy, but Greek side should take similar steps,' said President Erdogan.
The Turkish Exporters' Assembly announced a 5.2 percent rise in exports for August.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry rejected claims about the country’s general consulate staff in Mosul, who have been kept hostage by rebels in Iraq since June 11.
New Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu outlined the coming government’s program, highlighting the resolution of the Kurdish question.
The programme put emphasis on a strong economy, envisaging a monetary policy which stepped up the struggle against inflation but also supported growth and employment
Erdogan and Davutoglu, who was appointed prime minister last week, have both made clear that their efforts to curb Gulen's influence will continue in their new roles
Amasya MP Mehmet Naci Bostanci is elected ruling AK Party's new parliamentary group deputy chairman.
Turkey's President Erdogan made his first foreign visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as president on Monday.
Ali Babacan will retain overall responsibility for the economy in the new cabinet, government spokesman Bulent Arinc said
Monday's newspapers cover German weekly Der Spiegel’s claims on foreign spying on Turkey, Turkish intelligence service’s purchase of a lie detector and ongoing construction works of Turkey’s Eurasia Tunnel Project.
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will discuss the issue of spying claims on Turjey with American and German leaders at the upcoming NATO summit and U.N. general assembly.