At least three people died and 40 more were injured yesterday following the explosion of a car bomb at a police station in Van, in the south-east of Turkey. The attack was confirmed by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who has accused the PKK – the Kurdish militarized party – for the attack. The three victims were all civilians, whereas two of the forty injured were soldiers. The target of the attack was the police station of Ipekyolu, the central district of the city of Van. Police have arrested a wounded militant, suspected of having left the car bomb in front of the police station. The man, according to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, was taken to the headquarters of Van police for questioning.
Van, with a mixed Turkish-Kurdish population of one million and a half inhabitants, is part of the historical region of Armenia. Actually, it used to be one of the main cultural centers of the region. Following the conflict, the Armenian population of the city suffered a genocide and chose the path of exile. Today the majority of the population there is Kurdish, with a Turkish minority, although there is no official data available because the censuses are not carried out on an ethnic basis. Van, precisely because of its multicultural aspect, had been relatively immune to terrorist attacks at the hand of PKK so far. Such attacks were mostly registered in the Diyarbakir area, a city in southeastern Turkey, situated on the Tigris River, which is home to the majority of Kurds present in the country.