Turkey’s prime minister said the suicide bombing at the U.S. embassy in the capital city of Ankara, in which two people died, was perpetrated by an outlawed Turkish Communist group.
The Associated Press reported that Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the country’s HaberTurk television network that the attack, which killed the bomber and a security guard, was committed by the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, or DHKP-C.
That organization has been designated a terrorist entity by the both the United States and the European Union.
Gültekin Avcı, a retired Turkish prosecutor, told Today’s Zaman, an English-language daily: “I think this is a response to tens of DHKP-C members who were arrested last month. The latest operations were a huge blow to the group. The police solved the structure of the organization when materials regarding DHKP-C activities were sent to Turkey last year by Belgian authorities.”
Avci added that groups such as the Association for Inmates' Families' Solidarity, or TAYAD, and the Contemporary Lawyers' Association act as the “legal extensions” of DHKP-C in Turkey.
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Last month, police detained almost 100 members of the Marxist group, with 55 now facing trial for belonging to a terrorist organization. According to reports, police uncovered a large trove of documents, which suggested that DHKP-C was planning to assassinate a number of politicians, judges, prosecutors and police officers.
Over the past seven months, DHKP-C has carried out about a dozen terrorist attacks in Turkey, including the Ankara bombing on Friday.
Many of the group’s assassins are female, and intelligence reports suggest that DHKP-C often use members suffering from a terminal illness in their suicide attacks.
DHKP-C was founded in 1978 by Dursun Karataş, as an offshoot of the Turkish People's Liberation Party/Front. The group has principally attacked Turkish military and security officials, as well as U.S. military targets.