The bombings that killed 38 people and injured 155 after a football match in Istanbul is the latest episode to underline Turkey’s violent instability. Government officials blame the attack on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), with which the Turkish state has been fighting a guerrilla war since 1984. But only a week ago the spokesman of Isis called on its followers to target “the security, military, economic and media establishment” in Turkey.
The fact that either an offshoot of the PKK or Isis could have carried out the football stadium bombings is a measure of the trouble Turkey is now in. The credibility of the government’s initial attribution of responsibility to the PKK is undermined by its past tendency to claim that that the Kurds are behind any terrorist atrocity, regardless of the evidence. The biggest terrorist attacks in Turkey in recent months – 47 killed at Istanbul International Airport in June and 57 dead at a Kurdish wedding in Gaziantep in August – were both carried out by Isis.