Kurdish group claims responsibilty for Istanbul suicide attack
The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), an offshoot of the terrorist PKK, has claimed responsibility for last Sunday's suicide attack in Istanbul's Taksim Square that injured 32 people, the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency reported yesterday. The PKK quickly tried to distance itself from TAK, saying, "We clearly condemn the decision-makers of the attack and the attack itself," and called on it to end such attacks. "Whatever its aim, this act was an attempt to nullify the peace efforts of our leadership," said the statement. "We deeply regret the consequences of the act and the harm done to civilians." The PKK also said if such attacks do not end, the PKK would call the TAK to account. The PKK had denied any role in the suicide bombing Monday, when it extended a unilateral so-called "cease-fire" until next year's parliamentary elections in hopes of opening a dialogue with Turkish leaders. In a statement on TAK's website, TAK said suicide bomber Vedat Acar, a.k.a. Derwes, a senior member of the organization who joined in 2005, acted on his own initiative. TAK said it had no involvement in the PKK's cease-fire decision and that it has not declared a cease-fire. "As long as actions aimed against the Kurdish people and its values continue, TAK will continue its actions," the group said. TAK operates in Turkish cities and has claimed several deadly bombings in past years, including a 2007 attack on Ankara's Anafartalar Bazaar.