Gül told a joint news conference with his Serbian counterpart, Tomislav Nikolic, on Monday that the police had been on alert and intelligence had warned of a possible terrorist attack.
The blast occurred inside a security checkpoint at the side entrance to the US Embassy in Ankara when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device. A guard standing outside the checkpoint was killed while the two other guards were wounded.
The assailant was Ecevit Şanlı, a member of the far-left terrorist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). According to initial reports, Şanlı had been implicated in a terrorist attack in 1997.
Didem Tuncay, a journalist who previously worked with the private NTV channel, was injured in the blast. She was taken to a nearby hospital. Her condition was reported to be improving after a series of surgeries on Friday.
Gül told reporters on Monday that both police and intelligence were on alert for possible attacks by the terrorist organization and that they were issuing warnings in this respect. “But, sadly, it could not be prevented and they realized this attack on the US Embassy,” Gül said.
Police detained nearly 100 DHKP/C members in January, and 55 of them were arrested pending trial on accusations of being members of a terrorist organization. Police seized a large number of documents from the addresses of the suspects, which revealed the group’s plans to assassinate politicians, judges, prosecutors and police officers.
The DHKP/C, considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, has carried out nearly a dozen terrorist attacks over the past seven months in Turkey, including Friday’s embassy attack. Intelligence reports suggest that the DHKP/C uses militants who suffer from a terminal illness in suicide attacks.
Gül said officials are also closely following Tuncay’s condition and confirmed that it is improving.