Turkey is to introduce new national security measures in the wake of a car bombing in Ankara that killed 28 people on February 17.
Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish prime minister, made the announcement on Saturday, a day after a Kurdish armed group claimed responsibility for the attack, which was aimed at a military convoy.
“We are going for changes in the matter of security,” he said after a five-hour meeting in Istanbul with his security chief.
He said that as part of the new plan, more security forces would be deployed and their presence would become “more visible”, but he also called on citizens to do their part.
“Terrorist groups aim to cause trauma and chaos among the population. We must all assist the security forces,” he said.
“No security efforts can succeed without the support of the people.”
Kurdish claim rejected
Davutoglu also rejected the claim of responsibility by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) for the Ankara bombing.
TAK, which has been linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), said the attack was revenge for operations by the Turkish military in the southeast of the country.
But the Turkish government insists that the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Units (YPG) were behind the attack, in a joint operation with the PKK.
“It has been very clearly determined that this attack was the work of the PKK-YPG,” Davutoglu said.
The assertions have been greeted with scepticism from the US, causing an increasingly acrimonious split between the key NATO allies.
Davutoglu on Saturday again criticised US support for Kurdish fighters in Syria, and appealed to the US to “show solidarity with Turkey in its fight against terrorism”.
He added, however, that he hoped the two NATO members would still be able to find common ground.
US President Barack Obama spoke by phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, urging both the Turkish government and Kurdish YPG forces to “show reciprocal restraint” in northern Syria.
Turkey has been firing artillery rounds into Syria’s northern Aleppo province for the past week, in an effort to stem the advances of the YPG-led coalition, which has seized territory from rebels.
Turkey fears the Kurds are trying to unite several Kurdish-majority regions in north and northeastern Syria to create a contiguous zone on the border.