Also Thursday, US officials announced they had reached a long-awaited agreement with Ankara to allow US airstrikes on Islamic State targets from a base near Turkey’s Syrian border, the Associated Press reports.
The agreement was finalised in a phone call between President Barack Obama and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.
Thirty-two people, many of them Kurds, were killed in the suspected Islamic State suicide bombing in the Turkish town of Suruc on the Syrian border this week.
But Turkey’s Foreign Ministry went further on Friday, saying it had approved coalition strikes to be launched from its air bases.
Turkish Prime Minister said the ISIS targets were chosen based on intelligence inputs that suggested a buildup of arms and explosives in the area, reports CNN. “Turkey will show the strongest reaction to the slightest movement that threatens it”. In the last six months more than 500 people suspected of working with ISIL in Turkey have been detained, officials say. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of government rules requiring authorization for comment, said the targets were two command centres and a gathering point of IS supporters.
Turkey, a vital conduit for the Islamic State’s power base in Syria, had come under increased criticism for its inability – or unwillingness – to halt the flow of foreign fighters and supplies across its 500-mile border.
That meeting came just hours after Ankara confirmed it would allow U.S. warplanes and armed drones to use its air bases to strike the militants in neighboring Iraq and Syria, a turnaround long sought by Washington.
For their part, Turkish police launched a major operation Friday against terror groups including Islamic State, carrying out simultaneous raids in Istanbul and 12 provinces and detaining more than 290 people. Mr. Davutoglu said 297 people had been detained, including 27 foreigners.
Turkey initially responded to the clash by firing artillery into Syria. The targets were across the border from the Turkish town of Kilis.
Turkey had resisted the use of Incirlik for months, complaining that the United States did not have a comprehensive strategy for Syria that included the toppling of Syrian President Bashar Assad and demanding that the U.S. agree to set up a safe zone inside Syria for the training of rebel forces.
The Turkish government official said access was restored after the company “removed malicious content, including hate speech, in line with the court order”.
One woman was killed in a gunfight with police during a raid on an apartment in Istanbul.
As it battles Islamic State threats, Turkey is also facing new violence from the PKK, which claimed responsibility for killing two Turkish police officers this week in separate attacks. Turkey has a 910-km-long border with Syria, and Turkish officials say that it’s very hard to prevent it from being porous.
Turkey appears to have dropped its studied ambivalence towards IS and has weighed in with air strikes and the shelling of IS targets in Syria, as well as a wave of arrests of IS sympathisers at home.