Bomb targets headquarters of Turkey's ruling party near Syria border
An explosion targeted the headquarters of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party on Wednesday evening, in the third attack to take place near the Syrian border in three days.
No injuries were reported after a bomb went off outside the headquarters of the party, commonly known by its Turkish acronym AKP, in the city of Iskenderun some 40 kilometres from Turkey’s border with Syria.
Images circulated by Turkish news sites showed fire fighters tackling a small blaze in a rubbish truck in a residential street of Iskenderun, home to around 185,000 people.
The bomb, which had been left in a waste bin outside the AKP building, reportedly went off after it was tipped into the rubbish truck on Wednesday evening.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.
The explosion was the second attack to hit Turkey on Wednesday.
Two police officers were found dead on Wednesday morning in the south-eastern town of Ceylanpinar on the border with Syria.
Their killings were claimed by the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Kurdish group banned as a “terrorist organisation” by Turkey, the European Union, the United States and other countries, including Iran.
The group said the officers had been killed in a “punitive action” in the wake of a devastating blast that ripped through the nearby border town of Suruc on Monday, killing 32 young people who had been organising an aid trip to the flashpoint Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane.
Some Kurdish factions have been quick to blame Ankara for the attack, saying it has not done enough to prevent the rise of Islamic State (IS), which is believed to have been behind the suicide blast.
"This attack has unfortunately been facilitated by Turkey," said lan Semo, the UK-based representative of the the Democratic Union Party. "They want to destabilise the region and have serious issues with [parts of northern Syria] being under Kurdish control."
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has dismissed such claims, accusing opposition political groups of attempting to exploit the tragedy to “score political goals”.
"There is no cooperation with terror, arms and murder gangs in the AKP’s history," Davutoglu wrote on Twitter, shortly before authorities shut down the social media platform for two hours in an attempt to stop people sharing images of Monday’s massacre.
The Turkish premier reiterated on Tuesday that Turkey will not brook any compromises in its fight against terrorism, in reference to both IS and PKK.
In his Twitter message, Davutoglu also criticized pro-Kurdish politicians, saying: "I call on those who seek to leverage death of young souls for politicking even as they have obvious links with terrorists [PKK]: Enough of your staining politics with blood."