Turkey Detains 3 Russians with Suspected Islamic State Ties

TASS reported that Turkish authorities detained three Russian citizens in Antalya suspected of being involved with the so-called Islamic State. The Antalya Consul General, Alexander Tolstopyatenko, confirmed the detention of three Russians. According to him, the reasons for their detention are being investigated.

Turkish news agency Dogan noted that the arrests took place after the terrorist act on Sultanahmet square in the city of Istanbul on Wednesday. According to Dogan, documents and CDs were found in the rooms where the suspects were staying.

The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Maria Zakharova, stated that the Russian side will clarify the circumstances of the arrest of its citizens. She will also verify information that the Russian citizens, arrested by Turkish authorities, refused to contact Russian embassy representatives.

“Immediately after receipt of information about the detention of three Russian citizens in Turkey, Russian foreign institutions contacted Turkish authorities in order to clarify all the circumstances. According to Turkish police reports, the detainees refused to come in contact with official Russian representatives. We are verifying this information and we will clarify all the circumstances of their detention,” Zakharova added.

The previous day, there was a bombing in the historical region of Sultanahmet in Istanbul. An explosive device was detonated on the square near the Obelisk of Theodosius. According to CNN Turk, at least 10 people were killed and 15 were wounded. The majority of the victims were German tourists.

According to Hürriyet, the suicide bomber  detonated his explosive device near a tourist group. The Turkish authorities believe that militants of the so-called Islamic State could be involved in the bombing because the attack was carried out in a tourist area and was directed against civilians.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the suicide bomber was a Syrian national. Igor Mityakov, a press attaché of the Russian Embassy in Ankara,  told TASS that at the moment there was no information on whether Russian citizens were among the casualties. 

In December, there were two explosions in the city of Istanbul. On the 1st of December, a homemade bomb was detonated a hundred meters from Maltepe metro station on the ramp above the track. The investigation of that incident has mostly been concluded.

On the 23rd of December, there was an explosion at the Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Istanbul. A Pegasus Airlines aircraft was targeted. Two members of the crew were injured and one was killed.

  Russia, Turkey, Islamic State, Alexander Tolstopyatenko, detention. terrorist act, explosions