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Massive Blackout Hits Turkey, Grounding Planes, Stopping Subways; Terror Not Ruled Out

Ankara, we have a problem. 

At around 10:36 a.m. local time, Turkey suffered a massive power outage that left half of the country’s 81 provinces without electricity in what was the biggest blackout in a decade and a half. The blackout shut down subways in Instanbul and knocked out 11 of 16 air traffic control receivers, grounding flights to and from the capital. Although the cause is not yet known, officials haven’t yet ruled out the possibility that the blackout may be terror-related. Here’s more via Reuters

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said all possible causes of the outage were being investigated and did not rule out sabotage, but said that trouble with transmission lines was the most likely reason for the problem.

 

"Our main target right now is to restore the network. This is not an incident that we see frequently," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said during a trip to Bratislava, in comments broadcast on Turkish television.

 

"Whether or not terrorism is a high possibility or a low one I can’t say at this stage. I can’t say either whether it is a cyber attack," he said in response to questions from reporters.

...and a bit more via RT:

The worst power outage in 15 years struck most of Turkey, grounding flights and crippling rail networks. The government scrambled efforts to investigate the power cut, before energy was partially restored in the afternoon.

 

The outage was confirmed in some 23 provinces, including Ankara and Istanbul, by news agency Anadolu. Later information from Broadcaster NTV put the number at 40. 

 

Energy officials did admit that there was no electricity in most of the country for several hours, before electricity was restored by 15 percent.

 

A widespread power outage in Turkey is affecting flights. 11 of 16 FR24 receivers are down. http://t.co/F84acygyGx pic.twitter.com/O1TgT1qjI5

— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24)

...and here's a BofAML:

“If the problem cannot be fixed shortly, the wide scale suggests that the cost will be loss of a working day for the GDP.”

*  *  *

We would note that Energy Minister Taner Yildiz is known for getting to the bottom of mass power outages. You’ll recall that last year, when blackouts caused officials to count votes in local elections by candlelight, the minister quickly discovered precisely what went wrong:

"I am not joking, friends...A cat walked into a transformer unit. That’s why there was a power cut. It’s not the first time this has happened."