Saturday 24 August 2019

In pictures: Funerals take place for victims of soccer stadium blast

The country's Interior minister has vowed revenge

Mehmet Capat ,father of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, mourns during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, (Phoyo: REUTERS)
Mehmet Capat ,father of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, mourns during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, (Phoyo: REUTERS)
The daughter of police officer Hasim Usta who was killed in Saturday's blasts (C), prays during a funeral ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey (Photo: REUTERS)
Mehmet Capat (L), father of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, mourns during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey. (Photo: REUTERS)
People pray next to the coffin of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey. (Photo: REUTERS)
Asiye Capat (R), mother, and Yurdagul Capat (L), sister of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, mourn during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey. (Photo: REUTERS)
Friends and relatives of police chief Kadir Yildirim who was killed in Saturday's blasts, march with a Turkish flag during a funeral ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, December 12, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS)
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a funeral ceremony for police officer Hasim Usta who was killed in Saturday's blasts, in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: REUTERS)
Relatives and friends carry flag-wrapped coffin of police officer Hasim Usta who was killed in Saturday's blasts, during a funeral ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: REUTERS)
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, former prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak attend a funeral ceremony for police officer Hasim Usta y (Photo: REUTERS)
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, attends a funeral ceremony for police officer Hasim Usta who was killed in Saturday's blasts. (Photo: REUTERS)

Daren Butler and Tuvan Gumrukcu

Funerals are taking place for a second day in Turkey for victims of the bomb blasts.

Turkey detained 235 people over alleged links to Kurdish militants in nationwide raids on Monday, two days after twin bombings killed 44 people and wounded about 150 outside an Istanbul soccer stadium.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu vowed those responsible for Saturday's attacks, claimed by an offshoot of the PKK militant group, would be "wiped from this geography".

"Our people expect us to defeat and eliminate this terrorist organisation, which has attacked our nation for 40 years," Soylu said while paying a condolence visit to a riot police headquarters in Istanbul.

"We want everyone to know that they will not get anywhere by hiding behind political parties, behind politicians, behind those media outlets protecting them," Soylu said.

Most of those killed in the bomb blasts were riot police. Funerals were held for a second day on Monday, the victims' coffins draped in the Turkish flag. A cabinet meeting was postponed to enable government ministers to attend.

Mehmet Capat ,father of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, mourns during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, (Phoyo: REUTERS)
Mehmet Capat ,father of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, mourns during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, (Phoyo: REUTERS)

Read More: More than 100, including officials, detained in raids after soccer stadium blasts

The PKK, which took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 and is fighting for Kurdish autonomy, is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States and European Union, as well as by Turkey. Saturday's attack was one of the deadliest claimed by Kurdish militants for decades.

Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes on PKK targets in northern Iraq, destroying a PKK headquarters and surrounding gun positions and shelters, an army statement said.

The interior ministry said Monday's detentions were made across 11 provinces from northwest to southeast Turkey and that the 235 people were held on charges of "spreading terror group propaganda" over social media and acting on behalf of the PKK.

Many of those detained were members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), parliament's second-biggest opposition grouping, which President Tayyip Erdogan and the government accuse of links to the PKK.

Read More: Irish tourists are advised to exercise 'high degree of caution'

Mehmet Capat ,father of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, mourns during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, (Phoyo: REUTERS)
Mehmet Capat ,father of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, mourns during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, (Phoyo: REUTERS)

In a statement on Sunday the HDP said it "harshly condemned" the Istanbul attacks and expressed condolences for the victims.

The HDP's leaders and several thousand of its members have been arrested pending trial over the past year, drawing criticism from Western allies. The HDP, which last year became the first Kurdish party to enter parliament, denies direct links to militants.

Around dawn, about 500 police, backed by armoured vehicles and a helicopter, launched an operation in the southern city of Adana and detained 25 HDP officials there, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Counter-terror police in Istanbul separately took into custody 20 HDP officials, including its provincial head, and carried out searches including the party's main offices in the city, Anadolu said. The top HDP official in Ankara was among 17 people from the party held in raids there.

Asiye Capat (R), mother, and Yurdagul Capat (L), sister of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, mourn during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey. (Photo: REUTERS)
Asiye Capat (R), mother, and Yurdagul Capat (L), sister of Yakup Capat, a Turkish police officer killed in Saturday's blasts in Istanbul, mourn during his funeral ceremony in Ankara, Turkey. (Photo: REUTERS)

Reuters

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