29th January 2005
Yesterday (Saturday) two bombs went off in the border city of Reyhanli in Hatay Province. This is the area that borders the Aleppo Province where a lot of fighting is ongoing between the Syrian government and rebels against the government. The blasts killed at least 46 and 100 wounded. Shortly afterwards national authorities arrested 9 Turkish citizens who they described as being part of an ex-communist outfit that has been known to cause problems before- maybe Dev-Sol/DHKP-C which had an attack on the US embassy back in February. It's not clear who they are referring to here.
The Turkish government in statements goes further by saying that Syria is complicity in these attacks, a charge which the Syrian government denies.
Turkey blames 'inaction' on Syria for attacks Foreign Minister Davutoglu says deadly bombing near border breached Turkey's "red line" as Syria rejects responsibility. Last Modified: 12 May 2013 18:43
Turkey's foreign minister has blamed the world's inaction on the Syrian conflict for the "barbarian act of terrorism" that claimed dozens of lives near the border.
Ahmet Davutoglu's comments in Berlin came a day after a twin bombing in the small town of Reyhanli, in the southern Turkish province of Hatay bordering Syria, that left at least 46 people dead and 100 others wounded.
They also followed a vigorous denial by Syria of any links to Saturday's blasts, which were the deadliest attacks to hit Turkey in recent years.
Holding Turkey indirectly responsible for the attacks, which took place just a few miles from the main border crossing into Syria, Omran al-Zoubi said: "Syria did not commit and would never commit such an act because our values would not allow that."
Turkey has taken in more than 400,000 Syrian refugees, many of whom have settled in Hatay, and has thrown its full weight behind the armed opposition fighting to overthrow Assad, although it denies supplying weapons.
Fighters are able to cross back and forth across the frontier virtually unchallenged, unsettling many on the Turkish side of the border, who say more and more radical groups are joining the opposition ranks.
Davutoglu had earlier told Turkey's TRT television that he did not believe the attacks were linked to Syrian refugees in his country, but that they had "everything to do with the Syrian regime". Spotlight In-depth coverage of escalating violence across Syria
As Turkish officials announced the arrest of nine people in connection with the attacks, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Antakya on Sunday.
Several hundred people, mostly leftist and nationalist demonstrators, marched through the centre of the city, about 50km from the Syrian frontier, carrying banners and shouting anti-government slogans while onlookers cheered.
In Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish prime minister, said "they want to drag us down a vile path", and urged Turks to be "level-headed in the face of each provocation aimed at drawing Turkey into the Syrian quagmire".
Davutoglu, for his part, called the blasts a breach of Turkey's "red line" and said that "it's time for the international community to display a common stance against the regime ... immediately and without delay".
He called for an "urgent, result-oriented diplomatic initiative" to find a solution to the Syrian crisis and said that "Turkey has the right to take any kind of measure" in response to the killings.
Germany pledges support
Davutoglu met Guido Westerwelle, German foreign minister, who expressed his condolences for the victims of the "barbaric act of terrorism" and pledged Germany's support for Turkey.
Davutoglu blamed the attack on "a former Marxist organisation directly connected with the regime" of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
He also said the investigation was looking at "connections between the Banias massacre ... and the latest terror attack" in Turkey.
Rights groups say at least 62 civilians were killed this month in an assault on a Sunni district of Banias, a Mediterranean city in Syria, after at least 50 people were killed in the nearby village of Bayda.
The attacks were the deadliest case of what observers see as an increasing regionalisation of the conflict that started in March 2011 and came as US and Russia made an unprecedented joint push for peace talks.
Edit: Turkish news puts the 10 individuals as part of two groups-
...five of the captured suspects are members of the terrorist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) while the remaining four are members of the Acilciler (“Urgent Ones”), a splinter faction of the Turkish People's Liberation Party/Front (THKP/C) operating in the border provinces of Turkey. The suspects are accused of helping the bomb-laden vehicles enter Turkey.
7th December 2003
It seems the region where these attacks occured is home to many alawites, so a connection to the sectarian conflict in Syria isn't unlikely. It wouldn't be very clever of Assad to support such an attack, though.
SCHOFIELD DID 4/30
10th August 2004
Just speculating, but it seems there is a Syrian angle in this. Of all the places, Hatay Province is ground zero for Syrian refuges in Turkey, Turkey is heavily involved in the Syrian conflict (much to the ire of Damascus) and Turkish possession of the formerly Syrian region, while peaceful, has remained a point of contention between the two nations.
But, whether or not the Mukhabarat was actually involved, I feel Turkey will make sure they were. They are itching for a reason to take on a more overt role in the conflict.