Tourists caught in Turkey bombings

At least 27 people were hurt after a series of bombings targetting the tourism sector exploded in Istanbul and the resort of Marmaris.On Monday afternoon a blast in Istanbul blast hit a busy shopping area in the city, while a blast in Marmaris hit a minibus ferrying local people and holidaymakers along the main street.

A bomb blast also killed three people and wounded dozens in a shopping district in the heart of Antalya.

Ten Britons were hit in the Marmaris blast in southwest Turkey. The area is popular with European and Russian holidaymakers. The resort, one of the nation’s most Westernised cities, has a large number of bars, restaurants and nightclubs

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) an urban guerrilla arm of the Kurdish separatist group the PKK said it carried out the blasts.

Most observers say the rebels’ main goal is to cripple Turkey’s $20-billion-dollar tourism industry and to target tourists irrespective of their nationality.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hasim Hasimi, a moderate Kurdish politician,  told reporters that: “Their aim is to torpedo tourism and other strategic sectors, to force the government to negotiate with them. Instead, the government is growing even tougher and the PKK is losing support, even among the Kurds.’’

Turkish officials were quick to point out that it was not only British people who had been targeted. “These explosions were not directly against British tourists. Many Turks were injured too,” Cemalettin Ozdemir, an official in Marmaris told the Guardian newspaper.

——-