Turkey warns that bomb used in Istanbul bombing was made with help of social networks

Archive – Turkish Minister of the Interior Suleyman Soylu – DEPO PHOTOS / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu warned Wednesday that the bomb used in the November 13 attack in Istanbul city center was made «live» with the help of social networks.

«I must say that the bomb that exploded on Istiklal Avenue was manufactured through the channel of a social network,» he said before pointing out that the main suspect in the attack, Ahlam al-Bashir, a woman of Syrian origin whom the government accuses of being linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), received instructions from other members on «how to produce the bomb and where to place it,» among other issues.

Since her arrest, Soylu explained, several PKK members linked to Al Bashir have also been arrested. However, the defendant has insisted she knew nothing about the bomb and explained that she believed there were chocolate bars in the backpack. «Her words do not reflect the truth. The Prosecutor’s Office and the police are collecting evidence that disproves her testimony,» she said, as reported by the daily ‘Hurriyet’.

The attack followed a strong military campaign launched by Ankara against the PKK in northern Syria and Iraq. At the end of November, the government announced a cross-border operation in the area west of the Euphrates River.