World Bulletin/News Desk
In the aftermath of a bloody attack on the US Embassy in Ankara last week that killed two -- including a suicide bomber and a Turkish security guard, and critically injured one -- a journalist on her way to visit the ambassador, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has lashed out at critics of an earlier police operation against the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), as a result of which 55 suspected members of the terrorist group, including lawyers, were arrested.
The prime minister complained that the police was targeted in harsh criticism due to the operation.
“You all know about the measures taken [by security forces] against the DHKP/C. You also witnessed a police operation against the group. Lawyers and some top members of the group were captured. Yet, there are people inside and outside [Turkey] who defend them. One of them is the Republican People's Party [CHP]. The fight against a terrorist organization in a country where the main opposition party is a supporter of that organization is not easy at all,” the Erdoğan said on Sunday at a press conference he called before leaving for the Czech Republic.
Police detained nearly 100 DHKP/C members in January, and 55 of them have been arrested pending trial on accusations of being members of a terrorist organization. Police seized a large number of documents from the addresses of the suspects, which revealed the group's plans to assassinate politicians, judges, prosecutors and police officers.
Erdoğan also said Turkey would root out all terrorist groups in Turkey with the help of the people. “Our duty is to ensure the security and welfare of our people. We will do our utmost to achieve this,” he stated.
The DHKP/C claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on a website of an organization known to be close to the group. “Our warrior [Ecevit Şanlı] carried out an act of self-sacrifice by entering the Ankara embassy of the United States, murderer of the peoples of the world,” the statement said.
Police detained three people on Saturday in connection with the bomb attack. Two of the suspects were being questioned by police in Ankara, while the third -- taken into custody in İstanbul -- was being taken to Ankara. According to the police, the attacker used six kg of TNT explosives.Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2013, 17:16