BBC Turk has reported from the Ankara Governors office that the blast killed at least 27 people, with over 75 injured. Casualties are expected to increase in the coming hours.
The park, which was a central site of the 2013 anti-Government protests, is a popular site for student and family gatherings. Witnesses stated that the strength of the blast could be felt throughout the Kizilay neighbourhood and for miles around.
The explosion comes just one month after an attack by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) on a military convoy in downtown Ankara, in which 28 people were killed and many others wounded.
While the cause of the most recent explosion has not yet been confirmed, surveillance footage being circulated on social media seems to indicate that the explosion was the result of a car bomb.
On March 11, the website of the US Embassy in Ankara was updated with an alert to all US citizens that there was ‘information regarding a potential terrorist plot to attack Turkish Government buildings and housing located in the Bahcelievler area of Ankara.”.
While today’s attack occurred elsewhere, the frequency with which deadly attacks have taken place in Turkey’s urban centres is alarming and have led to widespread criticism of Turkish security agency MIT; particularly following the largest terrorist attack in Turkish history in Ankara last October which killed over 100 people.
As with last month’s attack, Turkish broadcasting authorities have issued a ban on broadcasting following the bombing.