Turkish president vows to ‘destroy terrorists’
that a child suicide bomber was responsible for last weekend’s explosion that claimed at least 54 lives in the southeast.
Speaking at a rally in Gaziantep where the suicide bombing took place at a Kurdish wedding, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the “terrorists” are being “picked up one by one” by Turkey’s security forces.
“They will all be cleansed out like a cancer cell,” he told a roaring crowd of his supporters. “We will find them and punish them.”
Last week, Erdogan said a 12- to 14-year-old child was the suicide bomber, but Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said later that the bomber was still unidentified and investigations continued. On Sunday, Erdogan reiterated the claim without saying whether it’s a result of the investigation.
“Terror has used a 14-year-old child as a suicide bomber and shed blood, killed people,” he said. “In this attack, our 54 citizens, including 34 children, died.”
Authorities have blamed the Islamic State group for the Gaziantep attack, but neither IS nor any other militant groups have claimed responsibility.
Erdogan repeated that the country’s parliament will decide whether to reintroduce a death penalty in the wake of a failed coup on July 15 that claimed at least 270 lives. That has triggered an outcry by rights groups in Turkey and the West.
“My nation wants the death penalty,” he said. “That is the decision of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.”
Turkey has sent tanks across the Syrian border following weeks of deadly attacks by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK, and IS. The move aims to both fight IS and halt the advance of Syrian Kurdish groups. – READ MORE