Police disperse mourners at Ankara station, 22 arrested

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Turkish police dispersed people who had gathered in Ankara’s Ulus neighborhood to commemorate the victims of a 2015 terrorist attack near the capital’s train station on Sunday and arrested 22 people, Turkish Minute reported.

A group including relatives of the victims gathered outside Ulus metro station, intending to walk to the train station to commemorate the victims. Protesters were warned by police that a demonstration was banned due to restrictions related to the pandemic.

Police then used tear gas to disperse the group and arrested 22 protesters.

The bombings at Ankara train station on October 10, 2015 were the deadliest such attack in Turkey. The explosions took place near the city’s central train station as members of predominantly left-wing and pro-Kurdish groups gathered to stage a protest demanding peace and an end to the ongoing conflict between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. (PKK) and the Turkish government.

Two explosions erupted as people gathered in the square, killing over 100 people and injuring some 400.

“Six years ago today, in Ankara, two suicide bombings three seconds apart left 103 left / peace activists, socialists and trade unionists dead, and dozens of people were injured. changed their lives. Shockingly today, the commemoration event was attacked by police, ”tweeted Milena Büyüm, Turkey activist for Amnesty International and UK PEN board member, protesting the intervention. of the police.

The police took heavy security measures in the streets leading to the station ahead of the commemoration, organized by relatives of the victims and several civil society organizations, which carried photographs of the victims and signs saying: “We will not leave the October 10 massacre be forgotten.

Relatives of the victims laid red carnations at the October 10 monument and released black balloons into the sky.

Mehtap Sakinci CoÅŸgun, head of the October 10 association, said public officials accused of negligence in the massacre had yet to be tried. “Those who cover up the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity are complicit in these crimes,” she said.

The final hearing for the trial took place on August 3, 2018, with all 19 people sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven years to life.

Government officials said the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) was responsible for the bombings, but the families of the victims asked if the attack could have been prevented by authorities.

Emin Koramaz, chairman of the board of the Turkish Union of Chambers of Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), delivered a speech at the ceremony criticizing the governor of Ankara for removing the “mourning trees” settled in the region on Saturday by the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality in memory of those who died in the attack.

“I remember with respect and mercy our fellow citizens singing songs of brotherhood when they lost their lives in the terrorist attack on October 10 in Ankara. I once again condemn terror and the collaborator of terror. We have not forgotten it, and we will not let it be forgotten, ”tweeted Kemal KılıçdaroÄŸlu, main opposition leader, the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

A report by the Interior Ministry revealed that some public officials were partly responsible for the incident. According to the report, which was leaked to the media, information that ISIL may organize an attack on rallies of left-wing and Kurdish groups in Ankara and other cities has been passed on to police. In addition, the names of suicide bombers at the station had also been mentioned several times in these intelligence notices. However, this information had not been taken into consideration by the police.

Despite requests from victims’ lawyers, parties who disregarded the intelligence warning were not brought to justice.

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