Tensions Increase in Turkey after Suicide Bombings


Following the growing tensions in Turkey after the deadly explosions on Saturday, the bomb squad were sent to deal with a suspicious package near the main train station in the capital Ankara.  Police carried out a controlled explosion on the package which turned out to contain food but showed the level of concern affecting the country.

At least 97 people were killed on Saturday at a peace rally near the train station and so far no suspects have been arrested, leaving the population on edge.

Suicide bombers

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that two suicide bombers were thought to be behind the attacks and so far the country’s investigations have concentrated on connections to the extremist ISIS group.  He told a Turkish TV station on Monday that they were investigating the Islamic extremists as their first priority and there had been good process towards identifying a name.  He also added that this name pointed towards an organisation without specifically identifying it.

Turkish authorities are trying to identify suspects and have begun to collect DNA samples from relatives of those thought to have joined the ISIS groups, according to the Anadolu news agency.  The government in the country recently changed its stance to allow the US to launch strikes on militant’s positions from their southern air bases, particularly the Incirlik Air Base.


Other suspects for the bombings, according to the Prime Minister, include the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK as well as the leftist DHKP-C group.  The blasts on Saturday were aimed at a lunchtime rally calling for an end to renewed conflict between the government and the PKK group.

Experts in the region have said that whoever chose the rally as a target was aiming to stoke polarization and violence across the country as well as destroying what is a fragile politics dialogue.

The Prime Minister said the attacks were clearly intended to have an impact on the country’s elections, which are held in three weeks times.  It was later announced by the Justice and Development Party that scheduled election rallies were be postponed until October 15th and after this would be focused on peace and anti-terror.

The main opposition, the Republican People’s Party or CHP also said it wouldn’t hold rallies until the 14th of the month.  The leader of another main group, the People’s Democratic Party or HDP, said that he had raised concerns about security at demonstrations.  Selahattin Demirtas also confirmed that two of its parliamentary candidates had died in the blast.


So far there have been bombings at rallies including Kurdish groups on three occasions this year.  A suicide attack near Suruc, close to the border with Syria, saw 34 people killed in July.  An ISIS supporter was blamed for the attack but the group never claimed credit for the act.  It follows Kurdish forces battling the jihadists across parts of northern Iraq and Syria.


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