The Campaign Spot

Quick Reaction To the Bombing in Ankara

My first thought on the explosion in Ankara is that the bazaar in Ulus is something of an odd location for a bombing, both in terms of the location of the city and the choice of that city.
During my two years there, I recall an attempted suicide bomber at the Justice Ministry, and beyond that… not much in the realm of terror attacks. There were frequent signs of extensive security, suggesting authorities were on alert – Ankara might be the most military-and-police heavy city in the region – but in terms of actual attacks, they were few and far between within that city.
The Turks’ first suspicion was to the PKK, and they are indeed, the usual suspect. When al-Qaeda struck within the country, they targeted foreign targets within the country, hitting the British consulate and banks in 2003. While it’s possible a few Western tourists were within Ulus at this time of year, the victims were almost guaranteed to be relatively anonymous Turkish merchants and citizens. Indeed, when the PKK tries to hit at Turkey’s economy by scaring tourists, they usually aim for high-profile sites in Istanbul or the beach resorts.
My first instinct when a bomb goes off in a neighborhood with no obvious target is that the bombmakers made a mistake in assembling it…

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