Ten more people have been detained in connection with messages they wrote on Twitter about the suicide bombings which killed 99 people in Ankara, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday, bringing the number held to 12.
The Turkish government is placing a heavy emphasis on tweets posted hours before Saturday’s attack on a peace rally that apparently predicted the double suicide bombing.
Officials have sought to link the suspect Twitter account to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). But the government has separately said that the prime suspect in the attacks is the Islamic State (IS) group, which is bitterly opposed to the PKK.
Davutoglu told TGRT news channel in an interview that Turkey was probing the possible involvement of both groups in the blasts.
«As a first track, we have started to untangle this web of relations, with the Daesh factor being focused on as the prime suspect,» he said, using an Arabic acronym name for the IS group.
«The second track are the tweets: Some actors carried out preliminary work as preparation before the bombing.»
«Yesterday and today (Thursday) there have been ten additional arrests by following both tracks. The investigation continues and is getting deeper,» he added.
«Among those detained are people linked to the PKK and linked to Daesh,» he added.
Security chiefs fired
The Turkish government said Wednesday that two people with alleged links to the PKK had been detained over the tweets, which it said were posted nine hours before the attack.
It was not clear on what grounds they were being held.
In the worst attack in modern Turkey’s history, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a crowd of peace activists in Ankara.
Turkish media reports said the two bombers have been identified as Yunus Emre Alagoz, the brother of the man who carried out a similar attack in the town of Suruc in July, killing 34, and Omer Deniz Dundar who had twice been to Syria in recent times.
The reports have linked the pair to the IS group.
In the interview, however, Davutoglu did not mention the names of the bombers and Ankara prosecutors have also banned publication of materials relating to the investigation.
The Interior Ministry has removed Ankara’s police, intelligence and security chiefs from their posts as it pushes ahead with the investigation, after President Tayyip Erdogan admitted there had been an intelligence failure.