U.S. Embassy Bombing in Turkey Possibly Motivated By Arrest Of Bin Laden Relative

A deadly suicide bombing occurred in front of the U.S Embassy in Turkey's capital Ankara on Friday. A suspicious man detonated an explosive in front of the building, killing himself and one guard. No motive has been established yet for the attack. An in-depth look at the alliance between the United States and Turkey and the sentiments held by Turkish citizens may provide some insight into yet another extreme statement for American opposition.

One rumor that has been circulating is that the recent arrest of Osama bin Laden's relative in Turkey may have sparked the outrage on the embassy. The U.S. informed Turkey's National Intelligence Agency (MIT) of the whereabouts of bin-Laden's son-in-law Suleyman, M. Authorities proceeded to take Suleyman into custody when he was found at a hotel in Ankara.

After the incident, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a public statement.

"This attack should remind us of the necessity of working together against terror. The roots of terror can only be cut by collaborating against terror together at an international level," he said.

Is the U.S.-Turkey alliance beneficial? Well yes, but it is clear that some are not pleased with the relationship. The two nations have actively pursued fighting terrorist groups in the Middle East. However Iran, Turkey's neighbor, has since conducted trade practices that have lead to a deficit in Turkey's economy.

Although the bomber's identity has yet to be known and political or national affiliation to be established, there must be a deeper look into Turkish public opinion of America. For instance, one can examine the U.S. involvement with the Kurdish troops in defeating the Iraq government in 2003. Who are the Kurds? The Kurds are a predominately Sunni Muslim people that live in areas of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and more neighboring countries. The group has long advocated the creation of their own nation state. The Kurds however have long held a turbulent relationship with the Turkish government; Turks have refused to recognize the group for ethnic independence. With that in mind, this new alliance is viewed in a positive light at the highest levels of Turkey's regime and neglects this history. However, it appears that a further analysis is being disregarded from the other components of the state.

It seems that there is no clear solution to some of these Turkish sentiments.  For now Washington and Turkey will continue their efforts on crisis intervention in the Middle East, no matter if everyone is not on board.

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Shawna Gillen

Shawna is currently studying Political Science and Psychology at Marist College. She has a passion for politics and is an aspiring lawyer. In her spare time she likes to play club women's rugby, and contributes as the Co-News Editor for Marist's student newspaper.

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