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Turkey: Police attack commemoration for Ankara Massacre of 10 October, many detained

Turkey: Police attack commemoration for Ankara Massacre of 10 October, many detained

Police have intervened in a commemoration outside Ankara Station for the 6th anniversary of the Ankara Massacre of 10 October, in which 104 people died in an attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Several arrests have been reported.

Following a decision issued by the Governorate of Ankara that only those who had lost relatives would be allowed to join the commemoration, access to Ankara Station was banned in the early hours of today, 10 October, MA reports.

A small crowd of people gathered around the station chanting slogans to protest against the governor’s decision. The police used pepper spray against the protestors and many protesters were violently detained.

After the police intervention, those people still gathered outside the station made a statement. Numbers were limited as the police were only allowing relatives of those who had lost their lives into the area. The commemoration began with a minute’s silence, after which the names of those killed in the massacre were read out in turn, with the chant, “She/he lives on!”

The families of those killed and injured also chanted slogans like, ‘Killer ISIS, collaborator AKP!’ and ‘Never forget October 10th!’.

Following the statements, families let loose black balloons and left photographs of those killed and red carnations at the scene of the massacre.

What happened?

It has been six years since 104 people lost their lives and over 500 others were wounded in an attack by ISIS against people demanding peace in the Turkish capital Ankara. People who lost their lives in the Massacre of 10 October are remembered every year outside Ankara Train Station under police blockade.

Although six years have passed, only a few ISIS members have been tried in relation to the massacre, and the responsibility lying with public officials and the state in the matter has been covered up, reports MA in relation to the Massacre of 10 October, one of the bloodiest massacres in the history of the Turkish Republic.

Lawyers and families continue to demand that all those responsible, including state officials, be prosecuted.

They said that although there are several hospitals close to Ankara Station where the massacre took place, ambulances arrived late and there were no security measures at the entrances to the demonstration area. The families have lodged a criminal complaint against Turkey’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Interior,officials of the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) and the Security General Directorate, and the Ankara Police Department. However, the prosecution has not launched an investigation into these criminal charges.

The indictment relating to the attack was approved on 13 July 2016. The indictment stated that the order to attack was issued by İlhami Balı, ISIS’s agent for Turkey.

It was stated in the indictment that it was the same people who had organised the Suruç attack also in 2015, in which 33 people were killed. Fourteen suspects including Balı face from 5,083 to 7,820 years in prison on charges of “multiple attempted murder” and “attempting to annihilate the constitutional order”.

After the massacre, a reporter asked Selami Altınok, then Interior Minister “Do you intend to resign?” His response was, “There are no weak spots in our security”. However, it transpired that İlhami Balı, who gave the orders for the massacres both in Suruç and in Ankara, had been under police surveillance since 2002.

Medya News



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