Turkish Police Warn of Possible Islamic State Attacks
Turkish police have issued a nationwide warning about possible IS attacks on Thursday’s national holiday, with military facilities seen as targets after the army stepped up attacks on the militants in Syria.
Both Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish militants have staged bomb attacks in Turkey in recent months, fuelling concern about the spillover of conflict from its southern neighbour.
The police warning, issued to all 81 provincial police forces, said Islamic State “viewed Turkish soldiers and police as infidels and fighting and killing them as permissible.”
It called for a reassessment of security measures for celebrations on May 19, when Turks commemorate the country’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and mark what is known as Youth and Sports Day.
Military and police facilities and public buildings were in particular regarded as potential targets, the police said, with media reports singling out Ataturk’s mausoleum, Anitkabir, in the Turkish capital.
The armed forces said in a statement the mausoleum would remain open on Thursday, when traditionally thousands of people visit and pay their respects.
The warning also coincides with increased police action targeting IS suspects in Turkey.
Turkish police in the eastern province of Elazig raided six addresses and detained seven Islamic State suspects including a senior commander of the group.