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World View: Turkey’s Terror Attack Triggers Vitriolic Political Finger-Pointing

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Massive terror attack in Ankara called worst in Turkey’s history
  • Kurdish politicians in Turkey blame Erdogan government for Ankara terror attack

Massive terror attack in Ankara called worst in Turkey’s history

Security forces surrounded by dead bodies on Saturday in Ankara (Getty)
Security forces surrounded by dead bodies on Saturday in Ankara (Getty)

Almost 100 people were killed, and hundreds more injured, from two terrorist explosions at a “peace” rally Turkey’s capital city Ankara on Saturday. No one has claimed responsibility, but it’s believed that the explosions came from two suicide bombers.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declared a three-day national mourning period, and named four outlawed organizations that may have been responsible for the attack:

  • The so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh)
  • The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)
  • The leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C)
  • The leftist Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP).

The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, lost seats in the June 7 parliamentary election, stripping it of its parliamentary majority for the first time since 2002, and forcing it to govern in a coalition. Erdogan called a new election for November 1, in the hope of regaining the majority, but polls indicate that he won’t succeed. Today’s Zaman (Turkey) and Hurriyet (Turkey)

Kurdish politicians in Turkey blame Erdogan government for Ankara terror attack

Leaders of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are bitterly blaming the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for Saturday’s terror attack in Ankara.

Selahattin Demirtas, co-head of the HDP, says that whether Erdogan personally ordered the attack or not, the government security forces were responsible, and links this attack to the scheduled elections on November 1.

On June 5, two days before the general elections, four people died in a twin bomb attack on a HDP rally in Diyarbakir. Then, on July 20, a terrorist attack blamed on ISIS in the city of attack on Suruç killed 33 people, mostly young pro-Kurdish activists. After that, Turkey’s government declared war on the PKK. ( “9-Sep-15 World View — Turkey slips into chaos as violence spreads across the country”)

According to Demirtas, the Erdogan government has made no attempt to find the perpetrators of those two previous terror attacks. He is particularly critical of statements by Davutoglu and Erdogan suggesting that the PKK was responsible for Saturday’s attack or the two previous ones.

“There is nobody who has been designated as ‘responsible’ around. There is no effective investigation. There will be none regarding today’s attack either. This is not an attack against unity of our state and nation. This is an attack by our nation against our people. …

That is to say that they are very pleased. They are pleased of the current picture. This is not an attack against unity of our state and the nation. This is an attack by our state against our people. …

There are AKP executives who have openly said that we have bombed ourselves. We are a party who defend living together, but there is no place to such treacherous ones like you in that life together.”

For the most part, Turkey’s opposition parties are supporting the Erdogan government’s attempts to unify the country in the face of these terrorist bombings, but HDP is the exception. Prime minister Davutoglu has already said that he wants to consult with opposition parties, but he’s refusing any contact with HDP officials after Demirtas’s statement slamming the government for the attack.

Turkey’s politics between nationalist politicians led by Erdogan and left-wing Kurdish politicians have already become extremely vitriolic, particularly since the attack on Suruç and Erdogan’s declaration of war on the PKK.

The rapidly escalating conflict between PKK terrorists and Turkish security forces has triggered violence across Turkey. A number of anti-terror marches in Turkey turned violent when supporters of the pro-government Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) attacked the headquarters and local offices of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). In one case, dozens of demonstrators pelted the HDP headquarters in Ankara with stones, while in another city, an angry mob of 150 people set fire to four shops owned by Kurdish businessmen.

There are concerns that Turkey is descending into chaos and possibly civil war, and Saturday’s bombing in Ankara increases those concerns. Hurriyet (Turkey) and Independent (London)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Ankara, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kurds, Justice and Development Party, AKP, Ankara, Ahmet Davutoglu, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Suruç, Diyarbakir, Selahattin Demirtas, Peoples’ Democratic Party, HDP, Nationalist Movement Party, MHP
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