- Created: Monday, 12 October 2015 20:50
- Written by FRFI
On Saturday 10 October at least 128 people died and over 500 were wounded when bombs exploded at a peace rally in Ankara organised and supported by Turkish trade union federations, the predominantly Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and other left-wing Kurdish and Turkish organisations.
We condemn this barbaric act and send our condolences and solidarity to the families and organisations of those killed and wounded.
The rally was organised in the run-up to the Turkish general election on 1 November to call for peace and for an end to attacks by the AKP government on Kurdish areas in Turkey and Iraq and on Kurdish political representatives in the HDP. Since the previous election result on 7 June where the AKP failed to get the majority it hoped for, it has launched an all out war on the Kurdish people and their organisations (see FRFI 246).
One of the main leaders of the HDP, Selahattin Demirtaş said: 'this was not an attack against our state and our nation’s unity; this was an attack by our state against our people'.
The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCU) placed the blame for the bombing firmly on the shoulders of the AKP government: 'Claims that these massacres have been perpetrated by ISIS or some other organisations would mean ignoring the AKP's mindset, policies, practices, and distortion of the truth. The fact that these massacres target the societal circles which the AKP sees as an enemy and targets, also reveals who is actually behind them'.
The immediate response of the AKP government to the bombing was to condemn the peace rally, with a government minister calling it a 'terrorist demonstration' and the activists 'provocateurs'. Acting Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested that Kurdish rebels or Islamic State group militants were to blame and Veysel Eroglu, minister for forestry and water, attempted to put the blame on the organisers of the peace rally (The Observer 11 October 2015).
The day after the massacre, Turkey launched airstrikes against Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in south-eastern Turkey and northern Iraq, reportedly killing 50 people. Since the election in June, Erdogan and his AKP government has been engaged in a systematic attempt to suppress all opposition and to crush the Kurdish movement:
- On 20 July, 33 socialists were massacred in Suruc in a suicide bomb attack on solidarity activists on their way to Kobane to assist Kurdish forces in their reconstruction of the city.
- On 24 July the Turkish government unilaterally ended the peace process with the PKK with an all out bombardment of Kurdish areas in Turkey and Iraq.
- During September over 400 HDP party offices in Turkey were attacked.
- From 4-12 September the predominately Kurdish city of Cizre in Turkey was under siege from Turkish security forces with at least 21 people, half of them children, killed by army shells and rockets.
Britain supports the AKP government; the countries are allies in NATO both more concerned with getting rid of President Assad in Syria than with the self-determination of the Kurdish and other people of the middle east.
Imperialist hands off the Middle East!
Victory to the Kurdish people!