Breaking News: Some Action in the lead up to the NATO Summit

An explosion in Ankara and at least 3 people die from bomb blast in Istanbul. BBC article.

From Reuters, here is a chronology of the bomb explosions in Turkey since May 2002:

LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) – A parcel bomb exploded in Turkey’s capital on Thursday near the hotel where U.S. President George W. Bush is due to stay shortly, injuring three people.

Following is a chronology of explosions in Turkey over the last two years:

May 13, 2002 – A bomb rips through a park near the luxury Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the centre of Istanbul, with no reported injuries or fatalities. No group claimed responsibility.

Aug 27, 2002 – Two unidentified people throw a pipe bomb at an Istanbul office of the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP), damaging property but causing no injuries or deaths.

April 3, 2003 – A small explosion is heard outside the British consulate in Istanbul in the early hours but there are no reports of damage or injuries.

May 20, 2003 – A woman belonging to the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) detonates a bomb at a cafe in the centre of Ankara, killing herself and injuring another person.

June 11, 2003 – A Turkish man throws two grenades at U.S. consulate in Istanbul, shattering windows but causing no injuries. Authorities suggested he was mentally disturbed.

June 11, 2003 – A percussion, or “pop” bomb, is set off outside the U.S. consulate in Turkey’s southern city of Adana.

Aug 1, 2003 – Two explosions shake a Turkish Justice Ministry training centre in Ankara, injuring 17 police officers, two of them seriously. No one claims responsibility.

Nov 15, 2003 – 30 people are killed and 146 wounded when car bombs shatter two synagogues in Istanbul as worshippers celebrate the Sabbath. Authorities name two men from southeast Turkey as the suicide bombers, saying the attack bore the hallmarks of the al Qaeda network.

Nov 20, 2003 – 32 people are killed and many wounded in two explosions in Istanbul. One blast destroys part of the HSBC Bank headquarters and the other damages the British consulate.

March 17, 2004 – A Molotov cocktail is thrown at the British Council’s office in the Turkish capital, causing no injuries but some damage to property.

May 17, 2004 – Four small bombs explode outside branches of British bank HSBC in Ankara and Istanbul, hours before British Prime Minister Tony Blair is set to visit Turkey.

June 18, 2004 – Two small explosions apparently caused by percussion devices go off in Turkey’s western coastal city of Izmir. There was minor damage and one person was slightly injured.

June 24, 2004 – A percussion bomb goes off near the hotel in Ankara, two days before U.S. President George W. Bush is due to stay. Two policemen and a third person were hurt.

For a large country of 65-70 million with a colourful political past and bordering many countries, including Iraq, this is not that surprising. As you can read, most of the explosions were minor causing no or slight injuries.

I hope people do not cancel their trips to Turkey because of what they see on the news. I feel perfectly safe here and would not move unless the situation became infinitely worse.

Odds of winning the lottery are still far, far better than the chances of being injured or killed by a bomb in Turkey. The greatest danger here is still the traffic. That hasn’t changed…

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