Gov. Muammer Guler said although no one had claimed responsibility for the Tuesday blast, which left one woman dead, it was likely connected to a recent wave of arson fires also believed to be the handiwork of the Kurdistan Workers Party, known by it Kurdish initials of PKK and designated by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist group.
The New Antolian said Thursday Turkey was stepping up security ahead of New Year's celebrations on the theory the PKK was turning to urban terrorism as the army pressures PKK redoubts along the border with Iraq.
The newspaper noted a suspect carrying a backpack filled with plastic explosives was arrested Monday near an Istanbul subway station. Media reports indicated the man had trained with the PKK in Iraq.