Mar 04 2018

Palace delays Ankara station bomb attack memorial

A monument commemorating people who lost their lives in a suicide bomb attack outside Ankara’s main train station has still not been completed more than 2 years 4 months after Ankara’s municipal assembly gave the project the go ahead.

The failure to build the monument has led to criticism according to Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.

“The mayor has taken no steps relating to the process. We brought the subject to his attention 2-3 times a day but nothing happened.” said Doğan Yilmazkaya an MP for the People’s Republican Party (CHP), Turkey’s main opposition party.

Mehtap Sakinci Coşkun, whose husband died on the blast and who heads an association set up in the wake of the atrocity, said that the municipality was awaiting a written opinion on the monument from the Turkish Presidency before it proceeded with the project.

She also said, “We are trying to arrange a meeting with the city’s (Ankara’s) new mayor city. But he never gets back to us.” She went on, “Every day we are faced with moves to make us forget. As long as we live we will struggle to ensure the significance of that day, in particular the people who lost their lives in that area, is memorialized for future generations and that the decision that has been taken (to establish the monument) is implemented in a suitable fashion.

More than 100 people lost their lives in the 2015 bombing, making it the most deadly in recent Turkish history. Most of those who died were attending a "Labour, Peace and Democracy" rally protesting the growing conflict between the Turkish military and the separatist Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) following the beak-down of peace process a few months earlier. After the attack, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came under heavy criticism for not providing sufficient security at the rally, which was mostly attended by opponents of government.

Besides the 2 suicide bombers, no perpetrators of the attack have been brought to justice and no group has claimed responsibility.