“We are ready to come together and do anything to end terror”. This is what the leaders of the main parties in Turkey claim nowadays but the last attack in the capital city, Ankara shows that they are failing to keep their promise, or do anything at all to prevent these attacks.
After the crucial general election held in June this year, which was seen as a big defeat for the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), the country has plunged into chaos. This year there have been three bomb attacks in Turkey.
Due to the sudden increase in violence and attacks, thousands of people had organised a peace rally, which was to be held in the capital on Saturday. But before they could have shown their desire for peace with a peaceful peace rally, two suicide bombers that blended in the crowd had detonated their bombs and resulted in killing 97 dead and 160 injured, with 60 of those in critical condition. After the attack, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declared three days national mourning.
It is still unclear who is behind the attack since no group claimed the responsibility. Officials are suspecting of the Islamic extremist group ISIS and of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants. The evidence shows that this attack is very similar to the suicide attack that took place on 20 July 2015 in Suruç, near the Syrian border.
Though the ISIS militants are suspected for this attack, they have not made a statement regarding this attack. If it had truly been ISIS, why would they have not claimed that they were behind the attacks? It could be a show of their power after the Turkish government started allowing the United States to use Incirlik Air base to launch strikes against them.
In addition to that, if PKK militants did it why would they want to kill their own people since several pro-Kurdish the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) members and parliamentary candidates were there as well?
Another claim is that the government was colluding in the attacks. It is not clear how this could be advantageous for the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) in the general election, which will be held in three weeks’ time.
The important question we face here is this: How someone (or a group) can attack an event organised only for peace? We are sure that the group or groups involved in the attack do not want the conflict between PKK and the Turkish government to be solved.
It is obvious that condemning the attack and declaring mourning is not enough. The government should have maintained better security for the peace rally but late is better than never. The Turkish citizens desire nothing but peace in the country from now on.
Bahar Arslan is a PHD researcher at the University of Manchester studying math. She is a former secretary of the university’s Turkish Society.