Explosives seized along ministers’ route in Diyarbakır, attack averted
(From left to right) Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker and Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz are seen during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Silvan Dam on Friday. (Photo: Cihan)
Police on Saturday seized 20 kilograms of explosives placed along a highway leading to Diyarbakır's Silvan district and believed to be targeting four ministers as their convoy passed by on Friday. The ministers were not in any danger as they had decided to travel to the district by plane in a last-minute decision.
Diyarbakır Governor Mustafa Toprak said in a statement on Sunday that Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker, Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek and Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Silvan Dam on Friday. He said a plot by members of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was foiled when the ministers changed their plans and traveled to the city by plane.
The governor said the explosives were safely disposed of on Saturday after intelligence suggested a terrorist attack had been planned. Noting that they think the explosives targeted the ministers, he said members of the PKK had earlier attacked the Silvan Dam's construction site and kidnapped three workers. “The earlier attack and the seizure of explosives planted on the day of the groundbreaking ceremony are regarded as futile efforts of the separatist organization to harm the unity, welfare and brotherhood of our people,” he said. He added that the government will go ahead with its projects to boost welfare in the region despite these plans.