Turkey commemorates Islamic State massacre in Ankara

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Serkan Alan / DUVAR

Victims of the 2015 Ankara massacre have been commemorated in the Turkish capital outside the train station where the attack took place.

A suicide bombing outside Ankara train station – blamed on the Islamic State – killed more than a hundred people and injured more than five hundred on October 10, 2015.

The massacre became the deadliest terrorist attack in modern Turkish history. The victims were largely supporters of the Kurdish-oriented, left-liberal People’s Democratic Party (HDP). They had gathered to march for peace ahead of the November 1 national elections.

The families of the victims marched on October 10 in front of the station with a banner with the photos of the massacred people.

Police blocked journalists and other participants from attending the commemoration, saying only the families of the victims would be allowed into the area.

Several political figures, including the main opposition deputies of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Veli Ağbaba, Murat Emir, Ali Mahir Başarır, Kani Beko; HDP Co-Chairman Mithat Sancar, HDP Group Deputy Chairman Saruhan Oluç and MPs Oya Ersoy, Ali Kenanoğlu and Murat Çepni attended the commemoration.

10 October Peace Association President Mehtap Sakinci Coşgun said, “Every year we hold this commemoration here so that others respect our pain. We will continue to seek justice until the real killers are prosecuted. We will be here on the 10th of every month until a real monument arrives here.

Coşgun criticized the attitude of the police before the commemoration and said: “Faced with the intervention of the police, nearly 20 people were arrested. We don’t want to cry alone. We raise our voices against injustice.

The co-chairman of the Confederation of Public Employees’ Unions (KESK), Şükran Yeşil, said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was also responsible for the attack.

“During this period, the government has carried out such a policy of bloodshed and looting that it has fed the barbaric militants of the Islamic State in this country. We will continue our struggle until the responsible politicians are prosecuted”, Yesil said.

Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions (DİSK) President Arzu Çerkezoğlu said, “We will never forget those who shed blood and those who instigated October 10 until a real trial takes place. No one should expect help from massacres and bombs during the electoral process today. Do not even think about it.

The AKP was unable to win a parliamentary majority with 41% of the vote in the June 7, 2015 elections. Balance in parliament required the formation of a coalition cabinet and the Prime Minister of time, Ahmet Davutoğlu, engaged in negotiations. for this purpose. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on August 24 that coalition initiatives having failed, snap elections would be held on November 1.

Meanwhile, several political figures commemorated the massacre with their messages.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu tweeted: “I commemorate with sadness and mercy our compatriots, whom we lost in the Ankara massacre of October 10, whose pain we felt in our hearts as on the first day, and I once again curse terrorism and its collaborators. Maintaining peace and tranquility in our country is our debt to our citizens who were murdered at the train station.

“On the anniversary of the massacre, I commemorate our fellow citizens who lost their lives in the heinous IS terrorist attack. Those who try to break our unity and solidarity will never achieve their goals,” said Ahmet Davutoğlu, then Prime Minister, currently leader of the opposition Party of the Future.

“Seven years have passed since the massacre at Ankara train station by ISIS on October 10. The pain did not subside for a day. We will never forget the 103 people who left us. We will embrace the desire for a just and peaceful Turkey of those we have lost,” said Ali Babacan, then Deputy Prime Minister, now leader of the opposition Democracy and Progress (DEVA) party.

(English version by Alperen Şen)

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