[QODLink]
Europe

Twin blasts in Turkish capital

Explosions in Ankara take place two days before expected ceasefire call by jailed Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2013 10:01
Turkish Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said one person was slightly injured in the ministry attack [Reuters]

Two grenades have exploded outside Turkey's justice ministry, and the offices of the ruling AK Party has been hit by a light anti-tank weapon, in the Turkish capital of Ankara, days before an expected ceasefire with Kurdish rebels.

Turkish television stations on Tuesday showed footage of police cordoning off streets and ambulances arriving. 

Turkish Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said one person was slightly injured in the ministry attack.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attacks occurred two days before an expected ceasefire call by jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been in talks with state officials to try to end a three-decade conflict that has killed some 40,000 people.

"Our decisiveness will continue," AK Party spokesman Huseyin Celik told a hastily assembled news conference. "Such turbulence cannot push us from our path."

The ceasefire call, expected to coincide with the Kurdish New Year on Thursday, could also include a command to Ocalan's Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters to withdraw from Turkey to their bases in northern Iraq.

Ocalan began talks with state officials last October. Truces have been agreed and failed before in the war.

The PKK, deemed a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and European Union, originally demanded full
independence for a Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey, but has moderated its goals to broader political and cultural autonomy.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has made a number of concessions on cultural and language rights as part of his
efforts to forge a settlement.

247

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Mother of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy says her son's ordeal highlights the value of press freedom.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Featured
Survivors of Bangladesh garment factory collapse say they received little compensation and face economic hardship.
As Iraq prepares to vote, deadly violence is surging. But at the site of one bomb attack, people insist life must go on.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
join our mailing list