Turkey blames Istanbul blast on Kurdish militants

STORY: Turkish police released a video of a female suspect being arrested on Monday (November 14) after a blast in Istanbul's main shopping street killed at least six people.

And the government blamed Kurdish militants for the explosion.

Istanbul police said on Monday it had arrested 47 people in relation to the attack, including Syrian woman Ahlam Albashir who is believed to have planted the bomb.

Police said that in initial questioning, the woman said she was trained by Kurdish militants in Syria and entered Turkey through northwest Syria's Afrin region.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the Kurdistan Workers Party, also known as the PKK, and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia were responsible for the attack on the historic and bustling Istiklal Avenue on Sunday.

Soylu said the order for the attack was given in Kobani, a city in northern Syria.

Turkish forces have carried out operations there against the YPG in recent years.

Six Turkish citizens, two members each of three families, were killed in the attack, and dozen wounded.

In a statement on its website on Monday, the PKK denied involvement in the attack, saying it did not target civilians.

Earlier television news reports showed images of a person, who appeared to be a woman, leaving a package below a raised flower bed in the middle of the busy street.

On Monday, shopkeepers, like Lokman Kalkan, began their clean up.

"It has been a disaster, you see. This is all that happened. People were fighting for their lives. There is nothing we can do."

Ankara says the YPG, which Washington has supported in the conflict in Syria, is a wing of the PKK.

The PKK has led an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in clashes.

It is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.

Turkish authorities linked support for the YPG by Washington and others to the blast.

Soylu likened the U.S. condolences to "the murderer arriving as one of the first at the scene of the crime."

"We reject the condolences of the American embassy, ​​we do not accept it. Our alliance with a state that sends money from its own Senate to these groups, feeding the terror zones in Kobani which aims to disturb Turkey's peace, is in a controversial situation. This is open and clear."

Istanbul has been targeted in the past by Kurdish, Islamist and leftist militants.

Sunday's attack sparked concerns that Turkey could be hit with more incidents ahead of tense elections scheduled for June 2023.