Turkey blames Islamic State group for Istanbul attack

Turkey blames Islamic State group for Istanbul attack
Ankara has confirmed links between Saturday's Istanbul bombing and the Islamic State group, in the latest deadly terrorist attack to hit Turkish soil.
2 min read
20 March, 2016
Turkish police are searching for more members involved in the attack [Getty]
An Islamic State group militant was behind Saturday's suicide attack in Istanbul, which killed four people as well as the bomber, Ankara has said.

Turkish recruit Mehmet Ozturk - aged 24 - was named as the suspected bomber that targeted Istiklal Caddesi, a bustling pedestrian street in central Istanbul that is lined with shops and cafes which injured dozens of shoppers.

Dogan news agency said DNA samples were taken from the suspect's father to aid the investigation.

"The attacker has been formally identified. He is linked to the terrorist organisation Daesh [IS]," Interior Minister Efken Ala told a press conference on Sunday.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu vowed to track down those responsible, while Nato allies the US and Europe said they will stand by Turkey.

"We will fight with determination and perseverance until all forms of terrorism are eradicated," Davutoglu said Saturday.

The news comes as a Turkish official caused controversy when she posted a tweet suggesting she wished more Israelis had been caught up in the bombing.

Three Israelis visiting Turkey as part of a gastronomic tour were among the dead.

Israel issued a travel warning to its citizens travelling to Turkey in response to the attack.

"Tourism is over because of the bombs," Imdat, a disconsolate taxi driver told AFP as he waited for customers at a rank in Istanbul's Beyoglu district.

Turkey has suffered six bombings since July that have killed more than 200 people around the country.