Turkey: Welcome to hell

Terrorist attacks became so often in Turkish holiday resorts that they are threatening to undermine Turkish tourism industry. A bomb tore apart a minibus in a popular Aegean beach resort town Saturday, killing at least five people, including two foreigners, the second explosion in a week aimed at Turkey's vital tourism industry.

The blast occurred in the coastal city of Kusadasi, a favorite destination for British, Irish and German tourists. The bus was reduced to a scorched, twisted heap of metal, reports the AP.

The blast killed a British woman, an Irish holidaymaker and three Turks.

Photo-report from the site of the tragedy

British holidaymakers who escaped to the Aegean, avoiding the aftermath of the London bombing, notices The Guardian, were confronted with a grim and familiar image on the front of most Turkish papers: a bus ripped apart by a terrorist bomb.

The attacks on Saturday appear to mark a sharp escalation in a campaign by a breakaway group, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, who are fighting for a Kurdish homeland in south-east Turkey. According to the Turkish media, the device had been planted by a 16-year-old girl, who asked to get off the bus shortly before it was destroyed. Some reports said her severed torso had been recovered from the wreckage; others that she fled unharmed.

The UK ambassador told the BBC the Turkish authorities believed the PKK (Kurdistan Workers party) were responsible for the bombing on the tourist bus in which five died. A statement, carried on Sunday by the Mesopotamia news agency, said it was from the armed wing of the PKK and that it had nothing to do with either the bombing or with a splinter organization which has admitted similar attacks.

The PKK blames the government for failing to enter talks on Kurdish devolution and for refusing to grant adequate terms of amnesty to its fighters. Since the insurrection began in 1984, 37,000 people have died. The PKK is alleged to have acquired explosives from Iraq and to have begun training suicide bombers, reports The Guardian.

Turkish police has now tightened security at coastal holiday resorts. Last week a blast occurred in another Turkish resort Cesme, 70 km from the port town of Izmir, reminds PRAVDA.Ru. 20 tourists were hurt by the explosion, including one Russian. The explosive device had been placed in a litter can near a bank in the centre of the resort.

Photo: AP

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