Turkey detains suspect in Istanbul attack: Minister Ala



A suspect involved in Tuesday’s deadly suicide blast in Istanbul has been held, Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala revealed Wednesday.

Addressing a joint press conference with his German counterpart Thomas de Maiziere in Istanbul, Ala said: “Turkey is seriously inspecting the attack and its perpetrators. One suspect was detained after the attack. All the inspections and investigations will continue in a multi-directional way.”

The minister also spoke about his meeting with injured victims. “Eleven people, including the suicide bomber died during the attack. As of yet, there are 11 injured people at the hospital. Nine of them are German, one is Norwegian and another one is Peruvian. Two injured German citizens are still in critical condition,” Ala said.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the investigation into the attack so far had shown that the attack was not “specifically aimed” at German people or Germany.

Maiziere said there was no information to suggest that German citizens were hit because of Germany’s fight against terrorism. He strongly condemned the attack, which he said targeted the whole of humanity.

He vowed that Germany and Turkey would increase their cooperation against terrorism.

The minister also said that there was no reason for German people to cancel their tourism-related visits to Turkey.

Ala said Turkey would never stop fighting against terrorism both domestically and internationally, adding that Turkey and Germany were cooperating closely in their anti-terrorism efforts.

“Turkey has detained 3,318 suspects linked to Daesh or any radical terror organization so far [since the beginning of the Syrian war]; 847 of those detained have been arrested and most of the detainees are foreigners,” Ala said.

According to Ala, 220 suspected Daesh members were detained across Turkey a week before the Tuesday’s attack in Istanbul. “I call on all countries to work closely against any terrorist organization,” he added.

After the joint press conference, the German minister accompanied Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to visit the injured people at the hospital and laid carnations at Sultanahmet in memory of the victims.

A suicide bomber killed 10 people, mostly German tourists in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district Tuesday morning in an attack blamed on Daesh by Davutoglu.

Security forces have arrested dozens of people across Turkey, including three Russian nationals for alleged links with Daesh in the aftermath of the Istanbul attack.