Ankara Attacks Analysis

Ankara Attacks Analysis
By Otso Iho, Senior Analyst, IHS Jane's terrorism & insurgency centre. 

Key point:

  • If confirmed that the attack was conducted by TAK or the PKK, then it would mark a significant shift in tactics from targeting security force personnel.
  • Ongoing military pressure on the PKK in the southeast may further intensify and thereby catalyse the seeming shift in target patterns from the state and security forces.

Further analysis:

The attack took place in a district home to the justice and interior ministries, a court, and a police station; and is located around 3km north of an area that houses many foreign embassies.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but based on the targeting, threats of further attacks by TAK in February, and the fact that a similar type of explosives was reportedly used in both the 17 February and 13 March attacks, it appears most likely that the bombing was carried out by a TAK cell.

The Kurdish militant group Teyrêbazên Azadiya Kürdistan (TAK), identifies as a PKK splinter but, IHS Jane’s has assessed it to be more likely to be a PKK “front".

If confirmed that the attack was conducted by TAK or the PKK, it would mark a significant shift in tactics from targeting security force personnel. Such a shift would also indicate an elevated threat to the tourism sector in western Turkey, which TAK explicitly threatened following the 17 February attack.

Ongoing military pressure on the PKK in the southeast may further intensify and thereby catalyse the seeming shift in target patterns from the state and security forces. However, any potential escalation of PKK attacks on purely civilian or tourist targets would likely be somewhat tempered by the group’s awareness of the need to maintain its public image internationally.


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