Expert: "Terrorist attacks in Turkey to continue"
The double terrorist attack in Turkey's Istanbul, which killed dozens of police officers and civilians, as well as injured more than a hundred people, once again reminded the world about the danger of dividing terrorists into "us" and "them".
Kurdish separatists, which call themselves "Kurdistan Freedom Hawks", and which actually is a division of the PKK, have taken responsibility for this heinous crime. Turkish Government's response was not long in coming – there was a wave of arrests in the country, while Turkish bombers are attacking positions of Kurdish rebels. The head of Istanbul Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and an expert of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Kristian Brakel, shared his impression from Istanbul, which plunged into mourning, speaking with the Swiss edition of '20 Minuten'.
"The mood of people in Istanbul is bad, a fear has spread among the people over the last year. Many citizens no longer feel safe. At the same time, there are assumption in social networks that the terrorist attacks was "staged" by the government. However, there is no evidence that the government is connected with the terrorist attacks somehow," Kristian Brakel emphasizes.
The expert believes that the series of terrorist attacks in Turkey will continue, as there are no changes in the country's fundamental political situation, and they are not expected. As a minimum, prior to the referendum on the expansion of presidential powers, Turkey will continue to maintain a hard line against the PKK. "On the one hand, the reason is the conflict of interests between Turkey and the PKK on Syria. On the other hand, the outlines of cooperation between the ruling Justice and Development Party and the Nationalist Movement Party of Turkey, which position itself very firmly on the issue of the PKK, become more evident in the Turkish domestic politics," Brakel explains. Another terrorist threat emanates from ISIS. "If ISIS terrorists are cornered in Iraq and Syria, it is possible that they will step up their cells in Turkey to carry out terrorist 'acts of revenge' against Turks," the expert warns.
After the terrorist attack in the Istanbul airport in late June, the city significantly increased police presence. However, due to mass layoffs in the security services, security officials simply do not have enough resources. "The Turkish police are currently exposed to enormous stress," the German political scientist says.