Turkish media reported today (Saturday) that an assassination attempt on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been thwarted. According to security sources, an explosive device was placed under a police car parked near the president’s rally in the western city of Sirte. It was further reported that the luggage placed was home-made.
Upon discovery of the explosives, security forces evacuated the scene and began searching for suspects, while the police unit for bomb disposal handled the explosives and destroyed it in a controlled manner. A special investigation team has begun investigating the incident, with the aim of arresting those responsible.
As you may recall, last October, Stephen Kook, a Turkish expert on the Foreign Affairs Council, claimed in an article in Foreign Policy that a number of incidents in recent months allegedly indicated that Erdogan’s health was deteriorating and that he might give up running in the presidential election in two years. Among the incidents to which Cook referred were a video showing that he needed the help of his wife and one of his assistants as he climbed the stairs.