ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has dismissed claims that intelligence failures facilitated Aug. 20’s deadly bombing in Gaziantep while adding that foreign actors, especially Iran, that might have played a role in the attack are being investigated.
Arınç said they had no evidence about Syrian involvement as initially speculated but added that the probe was continuing.
“This [investigation] is not limited to Syria. We are investigating all potential foreign sources that could have had a finger in such an attack, including Iran, and others [in the region],” Arınç told private news channel CNNTürk late yesterday.
Turkey’s intelligence has been at its best over the past three years, Arınç said, noting that intelligence from the police, gendarmerie and Nationalist Intelligence Organization (MİT) was being collected in an “intelligence pool.”
“It’s obvious that the Gaziantep attack could not be prevented, but dozens of incidents as serious as in Gaziantep have been prevented thanks to [good] intelligence,” Arınç said.
Asked whether the government had any information over alleged linkages between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Syria’s intelligence organization, the Mukhabarat, Arınç said they had no certain information but that that probe was also continuing.
“Foreign sources may have had a role in the [Gaziantep] attack. I cannot say it’s totally impossible. We are living in such an environment that some institutions, countries and states may directly undertake such an attack or they may use subcontractors, or they may have some professional people carry out the attack. We have to investigate seriously whether [the PKK] or [Syria] were involved in the attack, instead of speaking rashly,” Arınç said.
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