Terrorism In Turkey: A Brief History

A series of suicide bombings in Turkey in the past year have escalated domestic tensions and highlighted Turkey's singular battle with the Islamic State

Jan 12, 2016 at 7:30 PM ET

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a historic square in Istanbul Tuesday, killing at least ten foreign nationals and injuring 15. The attack was the latest in a deadly series that has roiled Turkey over the past year as Ankara tries to confront the Islamic State on its border while tackling sectarian violence within.

Tuesday’s attack occurred around 10:15 AM local time in Sultanahmet, a busy tourist area featuring historic monuments of the Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine empires, the New York Times reported. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blamed a Syrian national for the attack in a television address. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also made a statement after it was reported that eight of those killed were German. “Today, Istanbul was hit; Paris has been hit, Tunisia has been hit, Ankara has been hit before,” she said. “Once again, international terrorism is showing its cruel and inhuman face today.”

Turkey borders Syria, where the Islamic State controls much of the territory, and where Kurdish parties have been fighting ISIS on the ground. Within Turkey, decades-old sectarian violence escalated in July after a two-year ceasefire broke between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish government.