People gather at the site of Sunday’s bombing in Ankara, Turkey. Photo: AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) militant group has claimed responsibility for the latest bomb attack on the Turkish capital Ankara.
“On the evening of March 13, a suicide attack was carried out… in the streets of the fascist Turkish republic. We claim this attack,” TAK announced on its website on Thursday.
“This action,” the statement went on to claim, “was carried out to avenge the 300 Kurds killed in Cizre as well as our civilians who were wounded. We would like to apologize for the civilian losses which had nothing to do with the dirty war being waged by the fascist Turkish republic.
Sunday’s attack on Ankara has left 37 people dead and follows a similar attack on the capital in mid-February which killed 29.
There is little known about TAK aside from the fact that it appears to be a splinter from the PKK having found that groups methods against the Turkish state to be too passive and generally viewing that group as too conciliatory toward Ankara. It is not known who exactly makes up its leadership or how many members are in the group.
The Turkish government has blamed the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG) for these attacks. Both groups, however, deny having any responsibility and deny that they are in any way affiliated with TAK.
Turkey has been cracking down hard on the PKK since July 2015 when the conflict reignited after a failed two-and-a-half-year ceasefire. Since then Turkey has cracked down hard on the PKK in areas in the Kurdish-majority southeast by imposing sweeping curfews.