Turkish Capital Bans Public Meetings Due To Militant Attack Fears

Turkish authorities issued an arrest warrant for the leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) on Tuesday in relation to a February bomb attack on military buses in the capital Ankara, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

ANKARA, Oct 18  – Authorities in the Turkish capital Ankara have banned public meetings and marches until the end of November after receiving intelligence that militants were planning attacks in the city, which has been targeted with bombings over the past year.

The ruling, announced by the Ankara governor’s office, came as Turkey pursued a near two-month-old military operation in Syria in support of rebels to drive Daesh militants away from its southern border.

Daesh and Kurdish militants have carried out attacks in the capital. This month two suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members believed to be planning a car bomb attack blew themselves up in a standoff with police in Ankara.

“Based on intelligence received by our governorship, it has been determined that illegal terror groups are aiming to carry out attacks in our province and have made some preparations,” the governor’s office said in a statement on its website.

It said there were fears that public meetings and protests in Ankara province, an area encompassing the city and surrounding towns, were being targeted by militants.

The ban was set to remain in place until Nov. 30 under an emergency rule law. Emergency rule was imposed after an attempted coup on July 15.

Just over a year ago, more than 100 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack blamed on Daesh at the city’s train station.

Kurdish militants were blamed in March for a car bomb which tore through a transport hub in Ankara, killing at least 34 people in the second such attack in under a month.

While Turkey’s army continues operations in northern Syria, Ankara says Turkey-trained forces are also participating in an assault to push Daesh out of the Iraqi city of Mosul.

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