The bombing at Ataturk Airport is the most recent attack in a long line of lethal assaults Turkey has seen over the past year. The country is struggling to defend itself against Kurdish militants and Islamist terrorists.
Turkey is still in shock after three suicide bombers killed at least 41 people and injured 239 more at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport on Tuesday. Among the victims were travelers from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, China, Iran, Ukraine and Jordan.
The attack was the latest in a string of violent terrorist acts that have rocked Turkey since 2015. On July 20, 2015, the terrorist group “Islamic State” (IS) first attacked in Turkey, killing 34 people at a cultural center in the southern town of Suruc. Turkish forces retaliated by bombing IS strongholds in Syria – and positions in northern Iraq held by the Kurdistan Worker Party (PKK).
Turkey’s government had been in peace talks with the militant PKK, which is banned in Turkey, for two-and-a-half years, but after the airstrikes, the peace was shattered. Ever since then, the country has been struggling with violence from two sides: IS terrorists and Kurdish militants.
No one has taken responsibility for the most recent bombing at Ataturk Airport, but Turkish authorities are blaming IS. The Islamist terrorists were definitely responsible for two of the most deathly attacks in Turkey since July 2015. Aside from the attack in Suruc, they also killed 102 people and injured 400 at a peace rally in Ankara on October 10, 2015.
Kurdish militants have attacked more frequently. They often target representatives of the Turkish state, like police headquarters or military convoys. Their strikes disrupt daily life in Turkey more often, but have also lead to fewer casualties.