The morning after Sunday’s bomb attack in Istanbul, which killed 6 and injured 81 more, the Turkish government had already arrested the ‘culprit’ and put the blame on the PKK and the YPG. Sarah Glynn asked Brussels-based lawyer, Selma Benkhilifa, to apply her analytical skills to these claims and to the Turkish government’s whole official scenario.
In explaining how the government’s claims are not credible, Benkhilifa points out that neither the PKK nor the YPG have ever used such attacks and that they never attack civilians; while the Turkish government have systematically blamed the PKK for attacks carried out by ISIS and even by the Turkish secret service – MIT. And she also notes how the government scenario perfectly checks off all the elements in President Erdoğan’s propaganda.
Stressing the need always to look for a motive and to ask who benefits from a crime, Benkhilifa explains that for the YPG to undertake such an attack would make no sense, and that the PKK is currently carrying out a campaign to be removed from the terrorism list and have a good chance of success, so for them to commit such an attack would be absurd. However, the Kurds have gained new international recognition and this action can be understood as intended to destroy this – which would benefit both ISIS and Erdoğan, who is facing an economic crisis. To get at the truth, she argues that what is needed is an international enquiry.