Car bomb blasts, which killed at least 40 people in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli on Saturday, may have been related to the conflict in Syria or to Turkey’s own peace process with Kurdish militants, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said.
“We are going through sensitive times; we started a new era, the Kurdish issue solution process. Those who cannot digest this new era … could take such actions,” Erdogan said in comments broadcast on Turkish television.
“Another sensitive issue is that Hatay province [where the explosions occurred] is on the border with Syria, these actions may have been taken to provoke those sensitivities,” he said, reported Reuters.
A third explosion has been repoted by AFP in the same area. Details on the incident have yet to be released.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc considers the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be the “usual suspects” behind Saturday’s car bombs, Reuters said.
Arinc also told reporters in comments broadcast live that Turkey must wait for the results of the investigation before taking a final decision on any response.
Two car bombs exploded in the Turkish town of Reyhanli near the border with Syria.
“Two cars exploded in front of the municipality building and the post office in Reyhanli,” Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler told reporters in comments broadcast on Turkish television, according to Reuters.
Several ambulances rushed to the site of the explosion to tend to the victims, CNN-Turk television said cited by AFP, adding that the town hall had suffered major damage.
Reyhanli, a town of about 60,000 people, lies near the Cilvegozu crossing opposite Syria’s Bab al-Hawa border post.
The border area has witnessed a number of attacks as the conflict in Syria spills over into Turkey, a one-time ally of President Bashar al-Assad and now one of its harshest critics.