Oct 10 2018

Victims of ISIS bombing in Turkey commemorated

Relatives of the victims of a 2015 Islamic State suicide bombing that killed 109 civilians and wounded 391 more gathered in the Turkish capital on Wednesday to commemorate the third anniversary of the attack on a march calling for peace, independent news site Bianet reported

The march was organised at a time when Turkish security forces were engaged in military operations against fighters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in cities across Turkey’s mainly southeast after a peace process collapsed earlier that year.

The commemoration, held under tight security, included politicians from the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the leftist main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). The group came together under a banner reading “Peace, democracy, and freedom will absolutely come to this country”. 

Police at first said only the families of the victims would be allowed to join the commemoration and blocked others. A CHP member of parliament shared footage on Twitter showing a scuffle between police and the group. 

A relative of a victim, speaking on behalf of the 10 October Solidarity platform, said families and friends for the first time in three years had managed to commemorate the victims at the exact time and place the blasts took place in 2015. 

“If we had not managed to organise a commemoration in front of the Ankara train station this year too, we would fall into desperation about the fate of the legal process,” she said.

The 10 October Solidarity platform is “trying to combine the debt of keeping the memory of the event alive, with an effort of accomplishing healing through solidarity,” Turkish intellectual Tanıl Bora said in an article for left-liberal journal Birikim.

A Turkish court in August sentenced nine people to life sentences for their roles in the attack. The legal process continues against 17 suspects who have not been caught.