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tv   Talk to Al Jazeera  Al Jazeera  January 12, 2016 4:30am-5:01am EST

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we've got those unconfirm ed deaths and at least eight people dead, another report saying ten people dead. does this take the security threat in turkey in a much more dangerous sinister direction? >> reporter: even among our our friends and our own family and friends, nobody wanted to go out, people were cautioned not to be around squares. people were urged after the suicide attack not to use certain systems. many decided not to go out. it is having an impact on daily life in istanbul without a doubt
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thank you for that. we will stay with these latest pictures and we will try and get you right up to speed with what you think is going on. we know there are a number of casualties after a big explosion rocked central istanbul's square, a major tourist attraction. the blast occurred at about 10.20/10.30 local time this morning. you can see there the pictures of the ambulances going to and from the scene as they're shuttling the injured to the local big hospitals. it is close to an area called the blue mosque and another building which is a big tourist attraction. at that time the area would have been quiet. it's winter time, it's chilly, it's not summer time. it wasn't going to be packed. we were talking as well to an analyst in and he was making two points. he was 4 kilometers away and he
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heard the blast and he heard it very distinctly and clearly. the entire area has been cordoned off. obviously, the security forces, the police, the government, they are worried that there may be a second examples ploughings. the police are reportedly taking extra measures to protect people against the possibility of such a scenario. our correspondent reporting from is istanbul says the information is scarce at the moment. it is in the country's sight seeing area. just one quote from one worker at a nearby office at the time of the explosion saying he saw several people lying on the ground following the blast. it is difficult to say who is alive or dead according to this eyewitness. buildings rattled from the force of the explosion. you will remember if you had been tracking affairs to do with i.s.i.l., to do with ist aanbul and all the countries directly
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affected, turkey has had two bomb attacks. 30 were killed. that's close to the turkish border with syria. so the top line on the story is we have an explosion. we don't know if it was caused by a suicide bomber, although we do know that we had one report, and i do stress the record report here, saying that it was the work of a suicide bomber. we have one report talking about ten dead, another report talking about eight dead. mr actar was saying that there are turks in the mix who have gone to fight with i.s.i.l. and they have potentially found their way back into turkey. that, of course, is pure peck legislation in terms of what they would want to or not want to do. we understand there are some injuries, but we don't know if anyone has lost their life. that's according to another eyewitness at the scene.
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turkey kufrd those two major bomb attacks last year. you can keep right up-to-date on this story, of course, on the website we will continue to track event for you in turkey and bring you the very latest information as soon as we have it. you can also talk to us on facebook and twitter as well. we move on. iraqi rescue workers have been searching through the rubble of a bombed shopping center in baghdad. 18 people were killed and 50 were injured. a suicide bomber and gunman stormed the mall. i.s.i.l. is claiming responsibility for the attack in the mainly ee shia amuslim district of the capital. >> translation: it was a terrorist attack. security forces killed two of the terrorists at the location and then another one detonated his suicide vest at another location. the security forces managed to control the area in 15 minutes. we were immediately on-the-spot.
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the situation is now under control. it is back to normal and we will open the roads again we fake you back to that breaking store to you out of the country. we will show you the very latest pictures as well. we understand there is what sounds like a confirming line coming to us out of the local governor's office saying that ten people have lost their lives in that explosion in the district popular with tourists. several people have been injured. you've seen the pictures. we've seen the pictures. you can see there people gathering around and as is the way with these things, the ubiquitous smart phones are being used to take photographs and selfies. we don't know the cause of the explosion. it was heard in several busy neighbors around the area. the state-run media outlet trt saying that the blast was likely to have been caused by a suicide bomb attack. we're taking precautions against
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a second explosion. that's according to a police officer being quoted as well, as they spent a few minutes is, because the operation got off up to speed very quickly. after the explosion in ankara not so long aago, they obviously have a response mechanism and plans that they can put into play very, very quickly. the explosion was very loud. we shook a lot, we ran out, and this is upsetting and unplensant, we saw body parts, according to one woman, who works at a nearby antique store. that's her talking to the reuter $news agency. turkey has become part of the bombing $twice last year-- bombings twice. the latter one killed more than 100 people. you can see there on the streets there in that obilisque park area. no panic as such.
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people making their way awhat from that area that has been sealed off by the police. we are seeing swot teams, the guys wearing the black bullet-proof vests, combat gear, going self-confidently into what is very much a live dangerous area because whatever it is that happened, it is not wholly over yet. that's, obviously, the mindset for the authorities because they're thinking what if there's a second device. so they have to keep that area shut down, sealed off. they have to go in, make sure they've got all the bodies out, make sure they've got all the injured out. that process looks like it's happened, that subtext process looks like it has happened because we're not seeing ambulances anying around, we're not hearing sirens going off any more, but they obviously need to make sure that that area is as secure as it possible can be. we will continue to monitor the
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events for you in istanbul and also if you're away from the tv, do checkout the website nigeria's oil minister wants an emergency meeting of opec to talk about the fall in oil prices. it has dropped to $30.60 a barrel. that's the lowest it has been for it 12 years. saudi arabia has resisted pressure from other opec countries to push prices up by cutting output. china's index rose when it opened but quickly fell below the 3,000 mark. hong kong and south korea aopened higher but they are showing losses. australian share prices fellas well for the eighted 8th straight session. the south korean giant samsung
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has settled a long-running compensation battle with some of the employees who have developed cancer. they're also promising to improve health and safety in the factories. some workers are refusing to accept that deal. >> reporter: for five families today marks the end of an eight-year battle with south korea's biggest company. >> translation: i am looking at it from a comprehensive point of view. in that context i'm generally happy with the deal. >> reporter: mr song contracted lymphoma while working in a plant in the 1990s. he lost in court when he tried to prove a link to the workplace conditions. samsung has apologised for their suffering and entered a settlement and aimed a improving safety standards. the company denies any link between the factory environment and the diseases in question. >> translation: i find it very meaningful that this issue that had been on the table for a long
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time has hydroponic been resolved through dialogue. i hope all parties stick to the spirit of the agreement reached today. >> reporter: it says its factories comply with guidelines on the levels of chemicals and radiation. 100 cases have been settled. they had for many years been challenging claimants assisting the government's battle against former employees, but last year it changed its policy. instead deciding to offer an apology and set up a compensation fund. but some are still holding out. this man has been fighting for samsung to recognised a link to his daughter's death. he is one. while some have accepted and signed up, he hasn't. >> translation: until samsung
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consults with us about the apology and compensation, we're going to continue to protest outside samsung's headquarters. >> reporter: samsung may wish to see this as the final chapter of a long and damaging battle, but mr this man who has become very much the public face of that fight, it is not over yet let's return to what's going on in turkey today, that explosion in istanbul. we will show you the latest pictures. on the line is an author and columnist. fewer speculation on our part at this stage in the game, what do you think happened here? >> it came as news for everybody here. ten people are dead, as the governor announced just a couple of minutes ago and 20 people are injured. we don't know. it's just an explosion in the middle of the square.
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it's the world square blue mosque, just in front of it there is a square at the out set and in the square there is a statue. there were always tourists around that place. apparently the explosion, which might be a suicide bomber, according to some eyewitness reports, the explosion took place and killed these people. who did this? there is no clue at this point, but the usual suspects are either i.s.i.s., which has been threatening turkey for a long time or the kurdish militants, the pkk, the terrorist group, which has off shoots called the kurdish falcons which had hit civilian targets before and actually one of their terrorists attacked, istanbul second airport a few weeks ago. the third option is a radical
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group called d.a.e.s.h., which again had targets. these are the options. we don't know yet. we know that this is something that will only heighten turkey's concern tore terrorism and all the possible threats threats coming to turkey for these sources you're talking about potentially i.s.i.l., pkk and the revolutionary front. if you don't want to answer this question, please don't, but out of those three organizations, which one in your sense is the most likely to have wanted to do in kind of attack? >> all of them are evil organizations who can kill people, obviously, but look at the target, which is tourists probably, because in this district you would have that, i would rule out the marxist group because they generally attack police targets.
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the pkk, the kurdish terrorists can do this to hurt the turkish society, but i would doubt whether they would want to target western tourists or potentially western tourists because they want to have a better image. so i feel at this point that maybe i.s.i.l. is the more likely culprit. again, this is without any information which can change in just a couple of minutes or hours, when the police unveils a clue we also understand there's a sizeable number, maybe not in the broader scheme of things, but there are a sizeable number of turks who have worked with i.s.i.l. if it is the work of i.s.i.l. and if it is the work, and i stress the word "if", if it is the work of those turks who have joined i.s.i.l. and are now bringing this kind of event back home, how easy a target would this area be for them to
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identif identify? >> there are turks who joined i.s.i.l., not huge numbers, actually small numbers when you compare with other countries, yes even small numbers of people is enough to carry out attacks like this, and we had major i.s.i.l. carnage in ankara and elsewhere before. they're mostly targeting pro-kurdish rallies because of the extension of the civil war going on. if this is i.s.i.l., if it's a turkish - which are all big ifs, as you said, then it is not a difficult thing to do. it is a very busy area, there is police control, but there is always so many people from all different nations and people come and go. if i.s.i.l. wanted to target a soft spot in turkey, this is an easy place and they could have done this easily. even one could speculate that
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the statue, the pagan symbol, might have a symbolic meaning if it's an i.s.i.l. attack, but again these are all big ifs. we should not conclude it's i.s.i.l. there is always the chance it could be other possibilitys a strand of your thinking in the past two or three minutes, you're talking about tourists. i'm thinking about the russian plane. all tourists, all foreigners, all dead. 20 past 8 on the evening of friday, november 13, 130 people were killed, hundreds were mutilated and injured, foreigners were killed, people from outside paris, outside france were killed. whoever it is who perpetrated this, if indeed it was the work of a suicide bomber, they get a double whammy, do they not?
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the local government, the turkish government, they get them on the back foot but they also send out a message to the people in charge of the countries where the tourists come from as well. >> indeed, we have seen attacks on tourists or tourist sites by groups that were with i.s.i.s. or in the same ideology. it is possible in that sense. when you look at the incident at this point, it fits into the definition of anisise attack-- an i.s.i.s. attack. just last week there was a clash in iraq. i.s.i.l. fighters tried to attack the turkish forces in iraq and they were pushed back and actually 17 of them were killed. so in that case, if this is an i.s.i.l. attack, it can be also retaliation to what happened in iraq between the forces and
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i.s.i.l. so that fits into the definition as well if it fits into that definition as well, do the people who do this kind of thing in turkey fit into another definition, which is perhaps more of a western definition, if you will, because in france, in germany, in the u.k. we're used to hearing the explanation that young invariably men are drawn to i.s.i.l. they're magnetised by them because their unemployed, but turkey is so much closer to ground zero who it comes to what i.s.i.l. is, what i.s.i.l. stands for, what i.s.i.l. wants the future to be, is that pull still as strong for the people or some of the people - a very small percentage, of course, that small percentage of people who want to leave turkey and go to i.s.i.l.? >> well, there are certainly a lot of angry disaffected youngsters in turkey and they do all sorts of things. some of them go towards alcohol,
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others are not interested in political causes. who joins i.s.i.l. from turkey is a good question. certainly there must be an element of being young disaffected and angry, but there is also certain ideology that you have to buy into, that is a very extreme rift interpretation of islam. in that case, the number of people from turkey who joined i.s.i.l. was not more than the number of people who joined i.s.i.l. from the u.k., which has a very small, of course, muslim population from which they're a tiny minority was interested. we can't say in turkey there is a big movement of people choingisise-- joiningisise, but-- joining i.s.i.s., but some have gone to join i.s.i.l. or al-nusra, which is slightly different, and we know there have been cells in turkey that
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are i.s.i.l. sympathisers. there are people who happen to be turkish citizens, a very small number, but who can do something like this. when you look at the context, the escalation between i.s.i.l. and turkey, and i.s.i.l.'s willingness to hit soft targets, especially westerners included, and also turks, but when you look at all this, it makes sense from the i.s.i.l. extremist point of view to have such an attack. again, i'm cautious not to put the blame on a certain group at this point because we need more facts to speak, but to speak from an ideology kal point of view, it won't be a surprise if
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this is another crime by i.s.i.l. thank you so much for your time. we appreciate it. just to get you right up to speed. we've got that governor report saying that ten people have lost their lives in istanbul. at least 50 there were injured. our guest faking us through the-- taking us through those three groups that could be responsible if indeed it was a suicide bomber attack. we have that eyewitness of the look of a suicide bomber. it is taking place near that blue mosque. it is very much a live situation. the area is in lock down. these pictures from, perhaps, a half hour ago, you can see the medical crews working on the injured as they arrived to the hospital. we speak to our correspondent in turkey. one element of our conversation in the past hour is this idea
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that people who join i.s.i.l. from the turkish side of the border might want to cross back again. how easy would that be for them? >> reporter: yes. interestingly, just yesterday i was talking to an affected syrian smuggler who were smuggling people for i.s.i.l. he was telling me that he is convinceed that the passage across the border for i.s.i.l. fighters, for delivery of weapons and ammunition, is still very much open. he said that the security side of the border where people are trying to cross has been tightened up. that is turkey showing the west that it's making some effort to secure the border, but he says that he believes that the recent turkey hasn't made the border more secure for i.s.i.l. fighters is because they want i.s.i.l. to carry on crossing because they want to keep i.s.i.l. fighting against the kurds. of course, turkey very much
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engaged in an issue with the kurdish area in the area. they have been set for quite some time as the nature of the tight there hasn't changed from being in the mountains to being in the city. hundreds of have been killed in that fight. he really believed that these fighters are still coming over. when he was delivering fighters, he said very much from places, part of that fight within syria, so we are going to speculate that this bomb has anything to do with i.s.i.l. i can't say that the border is stopping those fighters coming across. that, obviously, means that if the fighters are here, they can go back into syria quite freely are they going across the border back and forth with
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somebody some place turning a blind eye to the process? >> reporter: that was very much his idea. that's what he was explaining to me. he outlined very much an organized crossing and, indeed, documents have come out in the press in the last few days that show apparently just how organized i.s.i.l. is with its movement of people and weapons, very much with people such as travel agents organising this flow of traffic. he talked about that as well and said that it's a very, very organized network. so for this to happen, he says, turkey is aware of it. he described it like a sort of a front door for turkey. he said that if somebody closes this door to i.s.i.l., then they have their life line completely cut off. they need this door to get in all their provisions and man power. he was of the opinion that if turkey slightly closes the door,
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i.s.i.l. believes that it will be reopened again because it relies on the fact that turkey wants them to carry on the fight against the kurds the domino effect, the consequences of that claim, it's astonishing thing to put out there in the public domain because it means that there's a payoff. the payoff if we accept that revolving door of relationships between who wants to destroy certain other groups. if we accept that as a given, the payoff is what we might be seeing today unfolding on the ground in istanbul. >> reporter: yes, indeed. it's interesting talking to a western politician who are working in and around the area where i am, and obviously the closest to the cities to the i.s.i.l.-held area in syria, and they say it's almost like an easy calm that they believe i.s.i.l. wants to keep because it wants to be able to get a free flow of their people in and out and it wants to rely on the
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area being secure and not violent. there have been instances of journalists being executed on the streets. there is an uneasy fear because this place is so close to the border. there is almost a sense that they won't cause too much violence or destruction in these areas because they want to keep turkey without plugging the gap, if you like, on the border. when things like the ankara bombing happen and october, and this one, if does come back to be the responsibility of i.s.i.l., turkey may well say this is not good for i.s.i.l. to be keeping a hold on the kurdish situation. is this just local, is it further up the command structure, if you like, turning
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a blind eye. we are told by the smugglers, and i'm not just talking about the i.s.i.l. smugglers, but those involved in the other areas, about their palms are greased with gold if you like. they turn a blind eye. they know people are going in and out, whether it be illegally in the past that the smugglers have organized. even the trucks that go in and out with the raid thank you for that. you will keep us right up-to-da up-to-date. 10 people dead, 50 injured, following what one eyewitness said was a suicide bomb attack in the blue mosque area. we will keep you right across all the developments when we come back in about two minutes here on al jazeera.
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do stay with us.
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♪ >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello and welcome to the news hour i'm nick clark in doha and ten are killed and 15 injured following an explosion at a popular istanbul square, we will have live reports. police quartered off the area that is a known tourist destination. ♪ so we are continuing our coverage of th e