Skip to main content

Who’s behind Istanbul airport attack?

The attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport on June 28 has triggered debate over whether Ankara is having problems deciding the priorities in its struggle against the Kurdistan Workers Party and the Islamic State.
A riot police officer stands guard at the entrance of the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, following a multiple suicide bombing, early June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTX2IS3C

Over the past 12 months, 298 people have been killed and about 1,000 wounded in 17 terror attacks in Turkey. The attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on the evening of June 28 was the sixth major terror attack in 2016.

What made this attack different from the others was its location. This is the third airport attack in Turkey’s long history of combating terror. In 1982, the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia attacked Ankara Esenboga Airport and killed nine people, and the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, which is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), fired mortars at Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Istanbul in December 2015.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.