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Turkey blasts before Blair visit

May 17, 2004 16:13 IST

Small bomb blasts caused minor damage to four branches of the HSBC bank in Istanbul and Ankara Monday, hours ahead of the visit of British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Turkey.

The branches, two in each city, reported minor damage like shattered windows and no casualties.  One of the bombs went off under a bank employee's car in Ankara, slightly damaging the car and the bank.  

There were no immediate claims of responsibility.  

Blair arrives in Ankara on

a day long visit, billed as the first of an annual series of summits between the two nations.  He is expected to meet Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and  President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and discuss the European Union, Cyprus, and the crisis in Iraq and West Asia.