Turkish police in Syria capture man allegedly linked to deadly Istanbul bombing

People laying flowers at a makeshift memorial to bombing victims in Istanbul
People lay flowers at a makeshift memorial to the victims of a bomb attack Sunday on Istanbul’s popular Istiklal Avenue.
(Khalil Hamra / Associated Press)
Share via

Turkish security forces have detained a suspect wanted in a recent deadly bombing in Istanbul, in an operation in a Turkish-controlled area in northwestern Syria, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported.

Other suspects detained in connection with the bombing will appear before Turkish court officials Thursday to face possible charges or be released from custody.

The newly reported suspect, identified only by his code name Husam, was apprehended by Turkish police late Wednesday in the Syrian city of Azaz, which is currently under the control of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition, the Anadolu Agency reported. He was being taken to Istanbul for questioning.


His detention raised the number of suspects in custody in connection with the bombing to 51.

Sunday’s explosion targeted Istanbul’s bustling Istiklal Avenue — a popular thoroughfare lined with shops and restaurants — and left six people dead, including two children. Scores more people were wounded in the attack, which came as a stark reminder of bombings in Turkish cities between 2015 and 2017 that engendered public fear.

Turkish authorities blamed the attack on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, as well as Syrian Kurdish groups affiliated with it. The Kurdish militant groups have denied involvement.

Troubled relations between regional rivals Turkey and Greece have worsened.

Sept. 6, 2022

Anadolu said Husam is suspected of aiding and abetting a Syrian woman who is accused of leaving a TNT-laden bomb at Istiklal. Police said the woman, identified as Ahlam Albashir, had crossed into Turkey from Syria illegally and has admitted to carrying out the attack.

Albashir and 49 others were taken to a courthouse in Istanbul on Thursday for questioning by court officials following routine medical checks, Anadolu said.

The PKK has fought an armed insurgency in Turkey since 1984. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since then.


Ankara and Washington both consider the PKK a terrorist group but disagree on the status of the Syrian Kurdish groups, which have been allied with the U.S. in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.