Erdogan in Bali for the G20 the day after the Istanbul attack

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The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived today on the Indonesian island of Bali, AFP journalists found, the day after the attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal street that claimed the lives of six people and injured more than eighty others.

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The head of the Turkish state, who will participate in the summit of the leaders of the world’s twenty largest economies, yesterday denounced the “vulgar attack”, for which the minister of the interior of his government, Suleiman Soylu, blamed the Labor Party in the early hours of this morning. Kurdistan Party (PKK).

Interior Minister Soilou also announced that the person who allegedly planted the explosive device was arrested.

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The attack, for which there has been no claim of responsibility, besides killing six people, injured 81 others, about half of whom are hospitalized. It happened at around 16:20 (local time; 15:2 Greek time) on the famous pedestrian street in the center of Istanbul which was full of people, Constantinople and tourists.

The PKK, a Kurdish separatist group that took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984, is designated a “terrorist” organization by Ankara, the US and the EU. More than 40,000 people, mostly minorities, have since been killed in the war, mainly in southeastern Turkey, as reported by Agence France-Presse and Athens News Agency.

This organization has been at the heart of the bradfer between Turkey and Sweden: since May, Ankara has blocked Stockholm’s admission to NATO, accusing it of showing tolerance towards PKK.

The Turkish president said in early November that he intended to negotiate in Bali with Russia on the continuation of grain exports from Ukrainian ports, after months of being blocked due to the armed conflict.

An agreement signed at the end of July in Istanbul allowed grain cargo ships to resume departures. But its validity will expire in a few 24 hours, on November 19.

Mr. Erdogan also promised that Russia and Turkey would “deliver free” grain to African states at risk of famine.

But in the end, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided not to go to the summit, sending his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, instead.

Source: News Beast

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