Police have detained four suspects in connection with the Istanbul suicide bomb attack, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said late on Wednesday.
A blast at the city’s Sultanahmet district on Tuesday morning killed 10 people – mostly German tourists – and wounded 15 others. A Syrian suicide bomber carried out the attack, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said earlier. Police have identified the suicide bomber, Davutoglu told journalists in Istanbul but did not supply a name.
He said that the bomber had Daesh links. "Police were not in pursuit of the bomber. He had come to Turkey as an ordinary refugee. However, after the attack, all his contacts were brought out," Davutoglu said.
"We are trying to find out who are the real actors behind this," he said, suggesting that other parties may have helped Daesh in carrying out Tuesday's attack.
Davutoglu was speaking after a briefing on the deadly terror attack with Turkey's Interior Minister Efkan Ala, Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin, Mayor Kadir Topbas, and Chief of the Istanbul Police Department Mustafa Caliskan.
They all, along with German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, visited the site of the Sultanahmet blast and visited injured victims at the Haseki Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul.
The Turkish prime minister paid condolences to the families of Tuesday’s victims and said that out of the injured, six were still in hospital.
"Terror is a threat to humanity all across the world," the Turkish PM stressed, adding: "We will take more effective measures to ensure public security in every corner of Turkey and especially in Istanbul."
"We have the responsibility to make Istanbul one of the most secure cities in the world," he added. He invited "all German and European friends" to Istanbul, declaring: "Turkey is safe, Istanbul is safe."
Stating that around 12 million tourists visit the city per year, Davutoglu said every type of measure against terror would be taken to make the city even safer. He stressed determination against "all kinds of terror regardless of religion, sects, and ethnicity".
Turkey is exposed to multiple terror threats, including Daesh and the PKK, Davutoglu said.
The Turkish premier recalled similar deadly attacks – such as in Ankara on Oct. 10, 2015 which left over 100 people dead and another one in Suruc on July 20 last year in which a suicide bomber killed 32 Kurdish activists.
Sultanahmet Square also saw another attack last year when a woman killed herself and a police officer as she detonated a device in a police station in the area.
"I am telling you loud and clear: We will definitely respond to such attacks against us when required," Davutoglu noted.