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UK Apologises to Turkey for Kurdish Protest at Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoğlu’s Visit

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London protest against Turkish PM Davutoglu invited by David Cameron

UK apologizes to PM Davutoğlu over pro-PKK protests in London: Anadolu Agency

Reports the Turkish English language site The Daily News.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency has reported that U.K. authorities apologized to visiting Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu for protests staged in London while he was holding an official meeting with his British counterpart, David Cameron, on Jan. 18.

Sajid Javid, the British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, visited Davutoğlu at the hotel where he was staying during his two-day visit to London to apologize about the protests, Anadolu Agency quoted anonymous prime ministerial sources as saying.

A group of supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) had chanted slogans in favor of the group in front of Downing Street while Davutoğlu and Cameron were holding scheduled talks.

Anadolu Agency claimed that Javid said the protests were “unacceptable” and the U.K. would take “all necessary measures” to prevent such a situation from taking place again.

The Turkish authorities had earlier informed their British counterparts that not enough security measures were taken during the meeting.

Turkey, the European Union, and the United States officially consider the PKK to be a terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, Anadolu Agency reported that Javid said Davutoğlu’s visit, together with a large retinue of businessmen, would contribute to a deepening of cooperation between the two countries on the subjects of innovation, research and trade.

Fracas (from Here)

The Kurdish Question has a different report.

Hundreds of Kurds gathered outside 10 Downing Street under heavy police presence today to protest at the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to London.

People began convening in front of the UK Prime Minister’s offices in the afternoon to protest the Turkish state’s recent atrocities against Kurdish civilians, which has left over 200 people dead, and whole neighbourhoods in ruins.

Protestors shouted, “Terrorist Turkish state,” “War criminal Davutoglu,” and “Shame on you Cameron.” Placards and banners at the demonstration read, “Murderer Davutoglu,” “Davutoglu=War Criminal ISIS Supporter,” and “Stop The Genocide.”

According to Turkish media Davutoglu met with UK Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss strengthening business ties between the two states and Turkey’s accession to the EU.

As Davutoglu’s convoy appeared at the gates of 10 Downing St many protestors broke the police cordon to vent their anger at the Turkish Prime Minister. Five demonstrators including our columnist Kurdish activist Mark Campbell were arrested in the ensuing fracas.

Demonstrators were very critical of the police’s approach from the beginning of the demonstration, as officers used heavy-handed tactics against protestors, physically abusing many people.

The five people, including two minors, who were arrested were taken to Charing Cross police station. One of the protestors has been released on bail while the others are still being held.

More pictures:at Demotix.

Update:  MARK CAMPBELL AND OTHER PROTESTORS RELEASED ON BAIL

demotix logo

Written by Andrew Coates

January 19, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Protests at Crimes Against the Kurds as Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoğlu Visits London.

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PM Davutoğlu flies off to London to promote Turkey’s huge investment potential.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu started his one-week “investment tour” on Sunday which will include visits to London, Davos and Berlin. The first visit will be to London, where Davutoğlu will meet with 350 leading investors, who collectively manage around $10 trillion. Davutoğlu will give the opening speech at the 16th Turkish Investment Conference organized by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, a leading investment bank, and will address various business circles as well as invite international investors to Turkey, at various events organized by Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs and the Foreign Economic Affairs Board. He will inform the investors regarding Turkey’s legislative reforms as well as Turkey’s plans for accession to the European Union and will give out the message that Turkey is worthy of investment and has an economic atmosphere which minimizes risks. Davutoğlu will announce the Middle-Term Economic Program and will explain Turkey’s road map until 2018 to investors. Davutoğlu will also attend a lunch with CEOs and other executive managers of 18 of the most crucial global investment funds at Goldman Sach’s European Headquarters. During the round-table meeting scheduled for Chatham House in London, Davutoğlu will be providing insight and express his views regarding regional and international events and developments.

Daily Sabah.

The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is in London to meet UK PM David Cameron. The visit comes at a time when the Turkish state is killing innocent Kurdish civilians, imprisoning dozens of journalists, politicians, human rights activists and academics.

We condemn the Conservative government’s collusion with the Turkish state and its silence in the face of Kurdish massacre.

• We demand that the UK government criticise and pressure Turkey to stop its human rights abuses against Kurds.
• We demand that the UK government impose sanctions on Turkey.
• We ask that you write to your local MP about this issue and pressure them to bring it up in Parliament.
• We request that you boycott Turkish tourism and products.

Support us in our struggle for the recognition, right to self-determination and freedom of Kurds!

Support us in our struggle for a democratic, secular and gender-equal society!

Support us in our struggle for a peaceful and political solution to the Kurdish question!

Protest at 14.30 today Downing Street.

Facebook.

 

Kurdish Question

Support for academics who demanded that the Turkish state stop its atrocities against the Kurdish people with the declaration, ‘We will not be a party to this crime,” is growing.

RELATED: More Than 1000 Academics Call For Peace Talks To Resume Between Turkey And PKK

565 academics, as of date, across UK universities and higher education institutions have signed an open letter supporting Turkish and non-Turkish academics who released the initial declaration calling for the Turkish state to stop violence against Kurds and resume peace talks.

The open letter, undersigned by 565 academics, to the Turkish government is below:

Open Letter of support for academics being victimised in Turkey

As scholars associated with universities and higher education institutions in the UK and internationally, we are extremely disturbed by Turkey’s recent treatment of academics that have spoken out against atrocities being committed by the Turkish state against Kurds.

1,128 Turkish and Kurdish ‘Academics for Peace’ originally signed the statement “We will not be a party to this crime”, calling on the Turkish government to cease hostilities against its Kurdish population. Since the publication of this statement, these academics have been subject to a sustained campaign of abuse and violence from both the Turkish state and its supporters.

In recent speeches, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has publicly denounced these academics. Subsequently, prosecutors have begun proceedings to charge all 1,128 of the original signatories with “propagandising for a terrorist organization” and “overtly insulting the Turkish nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey, Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Government of Republic of Turkey and the judicial organs of the state”.

This has resulted in 22 academics having been taken into custody (at the time of writing).  If convicted of these charges they could face 1-5 years imprisonment. The legitimacy of arrests has already been questioned by prominent legal experts and described as “extra-legal” decisions. Signatories have also been publicly exposed in the press and social media by government supporters and nationalists, leading to fears of reprisals from fascists that have declared they will ‘spill the blood’ of the signatories. Many of the signatories also face disciplinary proceedings and possible sackings from their institutions.

These unjust acts are unfolding in a context of continuing state violence against Kurds- in December 2015 alone 100 Kurds were killed as a result of military operations conducted by the Turkish state. Since August 2015 there have been 52 open-ended and round-the-clock curfews imposed on over one million inhabitants in south east Turkey.  In such a context, the clamp down on academic freedom constitutes another moment in the deepening authoritarianism of the Turkish state. This includes not attacks on not only academics but also the continuing imprisonment and deaths of journalists, lawyers and activists.

We call on the Turkish government to withdraw its prosecutions, immediately release all those imprisoned and commit to the principles of academic freedom and free speech. We moreover reaffirm the Academics for Peace call on the Turkish government to cease their hostilities against Kurds.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Turkey Bombing Targets Tourists.

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Police have sealed off the area

 

Turkey blast: Ten dead and 15 wounded after ‘suicide bomb attack on tourists’ in Istanbul – latest.

Reports the Telegraph.

Explosion reported at the major tourist attraction of Sultanahmet square

“Likely” that attack was caused by suicide bomber

State-run Turkish broadcaster TRT says it is “likely” that a suicide bomber was behind the blast in Istanbul’s central square.

And the Istanbul governor’s office has confimed reports that ten people have died and 15 were injured in today’s attack, which has been described as a suicide bombing targeted at tourists.

“Likely” that attack was caused by suicide bomber

State-run Turkish broadcaster TRT says it is “likely” that a suicide bomber was behind the blast in Istanbul’s central square.

And the Istanbul governor’s office has confimed reports that ten people have died and 15 were injured in today’s attack, which has been described as a suicide bombing targeted at tourists.

Au moins dix morts dans une explosion dans une zone touristique d’Istanbul. Libération.

Türkei: Explosion in Touristenviertel Istanbuls – zehn Tote

Bei einer Explosion im Istanbuler Touristenviertel Sultanahmet sind mindestens zehn Menschen ums Leben gekommen. Die türkische Regierung geht von einem Terrorakt aus, mehrere Deutsche wurden verletzt.

Der Spiegel. noting that Germans were amongst the wounded.

Turkey: Indefinite 24-hour curfew, over 200,000 in danger

By Amnesty International, 11 January 2016.

Twenty four-hour curfews have been declared since 11 December in the Sur district of the city of Diyarbakır, and since 14 December in the towns of Cizre and Silopi, in Şırnak province, south eastern Turkey. The curfews have been put in place as the police and army conduct operations against the armed Revolutionary Patriotic Youth Movement. More than 200,000 people live in the affected areas and some are unable to access food, medical care and face severe electricity and water shortages. More than 70 residents and at least seven soldiers and police officers have been reported killed.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 12, 2016 at 11:27 am

Posted in Anti-Fascism, Fascism, Kurds

Tagged with , ,

Turkish General Election Approaches: Erdoğan Inspires More And More Fears.

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Another Try for the Caliphate? 

Uncertainty abound as Turkey election approaches

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The streets of Ankara are quiet as Turkey’s general election on Sunday approaches, says Rudaw’s Hejar Berenji, reporting from the capital.

Berenji, the agency’s chief technical officer, is working with a team of reporters to deliver comprehensive coverage of the upcoming elections from Ankara and Diyarbakir.

Coverage will focus on the participation of Bakur (a Kurdish term used to describe Turkish Kurdistan) in the elections.

The Turkish general parliamentary election on June 7 did not give any party, including the ruling AKP, a majority, which would have enabled it to form a government alone. In June’s elections, the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, or HDP, made it into parliament for the first time with more than 13 percent of the vote.

The special coverage started on October 23 and will continue until November 3.

“Inside Turkey, Rudaw media network has a massive audience and for that audience it is important to be aware of every step of the election, and the debate of the political parties,” Berenji said.

Rudaw is here.

Demirtaş denounces ’mafia-like’ actions against media

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş paid a visit to the İpek Media Group’s offices in İstanbul to show solidarity with the group, which was stormed by police early on Wednesday, denouncing the police forces acting like a mafia in their actions against members of the media.

Turkish riot police stormed the headquarters of İpek’s media outlets in İstanbul on Wednesday morning, after authorities appointed several trustees to replace the management of the İpek Koza Holding business, which houses media outlets that include Bugün TV, the flagship station that has emerged as a main platform for opposition politicians over recent months.

In his remarks from the group’s broadcasting room, Demirtaş said he is not surprised by the seizure of the companies and media outlets under Koza İpek Holding as these incidents took place many times under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

“It is unbelievable that a state; a government’s acting rudely, like a mafia, like an illegal organization… right in the public eye, during a live broadcast…The appointment of a board of trustees turning into seizure, police forces’ cutting the cables of [broadcasting cameras] is not stated in any law. You may appoint the board of trustees for a temporary period… Spraying pepper gas, using batons, cutting the cables are mafia-like, gang-like practices,” Demirtaş stated.

Demirtaş called Wednesday’s raid “a serious attack against people’s right to information.”

“This is a show of force being made, made via police force; it is a reflection of a government’s mindset based on forced power. It also raises suspicions [as it comes] just a couple of days before the election. It raises questions about their having a plan or some hesitation about the broadcast that would have been made during election day,” Demirtaş stated.

President Erdoğan justifies appointment of a board of trustees to Koza-İpek group

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has seemingly justified the appointment of a trustee board to manage the Koza-İpek group, 23 companies of which have been seized by a local court as part of a crackdown on followers of the government’s ally-turned-nemesis Fethullah Gülen.

“There are different things behind the support lent [to the group],” Erdoğan said late on Oct. 28. “The reason for appointment of a trustee should be thoroughly deliberated because its number one is on the run,” he said in a live interview with Kanal 24 news channel.

As Akın İpek, CEO of the Koza-İpek group, suggested there was no irregular transfer of money abroad, Erdoğan asked why he was on the run.

October/29/2015

Now there is this:

Turkey will “do what is necessary” to prevent US-allied Syrian Kurds from declaring autonomy in the town of Tel Abyad near the Turkish border, which includes conducting further military operations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday.

NATO member Turkey is part of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in Syria, but it sees advances by autonomy-seeking Kurds, led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as a threat to its own national security, fearing they could stoke separatism among Turkish Kurds.

Turkish jets recently hit the Syrian Kurds’ armed People’s Protection Units (YPG) targets twice after they defied Ankara and crossed west of the Euphrates River.

“This was a warning. ‘Pull yourself together. If you try to do this elsewhere — Turkey doesn’t need permission from anyone — we will do what is necessary,'” Erdoğan said, signaling that he could defy Washington’s demand that Ankara avoid hitting Syrian Kurds and focus his military might on ISIL targets.

Zaman.

More background: The battle for Turkey: can Selahattin Demirtas pull the country back from the brink of civil war?

An excellent article on the Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP), by . (Guardian today).

And this French report: Turquie : l’irrésistible ascension du Kurde Selahattin Demirtas, cauchemar d’Erdogan.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

October 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Is this the end of the Turkish Republic? Davutoğlu Blames Ankara Bombings on Islamic State and Resumes Bombing Kurds.

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Downing Street Protest at Ankara Peace Rally Bombing.

Turkey blames Ankara bombings on Islamic State

Guardian.

Prime minister says authorities close to identifying one of suicide attackers who killed at least 128 at peace rally

Turkey is focusing on Islamic State in its investigation into a twin bombing that killed at least 128 people in Ankara, and are close to identifying one of the bombers, the prime minister has said.

Speaking on the Turkish broadcaster NTV, Ahmet Davutoglu said the attack was an attempt to influence the outcome of the country’s general election, due to take place on 1 November, and that necessary steps would be taken if security failures were found to have contributed to the bombing.

“It was definitely a suicide bombing,” he said. “DNA tests are being conducted. It was determined how the suicide bombers got there. We’re close to a name, which points to one group.”

At least 128 people were killed and more than 200 wounded on Saturday when two explosions hit a peace rally organised by several leftist groups, including labour unions and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party, to call for an end to the escalating violence between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK).

The attack is the deadliest in the country’s recent history and was labelled a terrorist act by the government, which declared three days of national mourning.

Then there is,

Turkish air strikes on Kurdish PKK rebels as mourning continues

The Turkish air force has pounded Kurdish militants a day after a deadly bomb attack on a rally for peace in the capital Ankara.

Planes hit Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in both the south-east and over the border in northern Iraq.

Saturday’s twin bombing in Ankara killed at least 95 people, making it the deadliest such attack ever.

Security sources say they suspect the so-called Islamic State (IS) group was behind the attack.

The air force struck after the government rejected a new ceasefire announced by the PKK on Saturday.

Tensions in Turkey were already high, with a general election looming on 1 November.

The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its overall majority in June after gains by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which was involved in Saturday’s rally.

PKK positions were destroyed in the Metina and Zap areas of northern Iraq in Sunday’s air strikes, the Turkish military said.On Saturday, the air force targeted the PKK in Turkey’s Diyarbakir province. Forty-nine people were reported killed in the strikes, but these figures could not be verified independently.

“The PKK ceasefire means nothing for us,” one senior Turkish security official told Reuters news agency. “The operations will continue without a break.”

Whether there was Turkish state complicity in the Ankara atrocity – which continues to sear the hearts of millions throughout the world – is not clear.

Islamism, in all its shapes and forms, is the enemy of the left and all people of good will.

*******

This is well worth reading:

Ankara bombing and the end of the Turkish Republic

What we have witnessed in the last two years, culminating in the horrible scenes of 10 October in Ankara, is the end of the Turkish Republic as we know it.

..the last of these moments was experienced during the rule of none other than Erdogan when his Justice and Development Party (AKP) embarked on a peace process with the Kurds, the so-called “democratic opening” process which lasted in fits and starts until the beginning of 2015. True, the reforms the state undertook were more cosmetic than concrete; the process itself was top-down, opaque and subject to the whims of two “men”, Erdogan and Abdullah Öcalan, the incarcerated leader of the PKK. Yet the ceasefire between Turkish armed forces and the PKK lasted more than two years, and many believed that the process was irreversible, whatever the (real) intentions of the actors involved.

In the long-run, it probably is irreversible. That it was not in the short-run has been proven by the events that have unfolded since the collapse of the ceasefire in the wake of the now defunct June 7 elections.

What is more, it is not only the Kurds that the AKP and its unquestioned leader Erdogan have alienated. Trampling on every faultline that divides the society, the AKP has managed to turn the liberals, leftists, ultra-nationalists (of all hues), Alevis, secularists, other political Islamists (including its one-time ally, the Gulen community) against itself, running the country relying only on a loyal constituency which is still enough to give it a majority in the parliament.

But the country it runs is not the country it took over in 2002. “The rusty wire that holds the cork that keeps the anger in” (be it the army, or common ideals, common symbols – you name it), to borrow from the lyrics of a famous Pink Floyd song, is no longer there. The armageddon, if it has not already happened at Gezi or Suruc, or indeed Ankara, is nearby.

The bottom line may not be pleasant to hear for some, but it needs to said out loud: what we have been witnessing in the last couple of years, the culmination of which were the horrible scenes we were exposed to on 10 October in Ankara, is the end of the Turkish Republic as we know it. This does not mean that the territorial integrity of the country will be forfeited. But the anger that pits half of the society against the other is too intense, the divisions that run through various ethnic, religious or ideological groups are too deep to paper over. Moreover, as I have alluded to above, the quest of the Kurds for the full recognition of their identity and rights, especially in the context of the developments in Iraq and Syria, is in the long-run irreversible. Whatever the results of the forthcoming November 1 elections (assuming that they will be held), Turkey will embark on a long and possibly painful journey to a “less unitary”, less centralized system.

On 10 October, Simon Tisdall observes in the article I have mentioned earlier, “Turkey, suffering the impact of the worst ever terror outrage on its soil, is a nation in shock. But it is also a nation living in fear.” Unfortunately, Tisdall is wrong, for Turkey is not a nation in the conventional sense of the term any more.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 12, 2015 at 11:52 am

After Ankara Massacre: Solidarity with our Sisters and Brothers in Turkey.

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An injured man hugs an injured woman after the explosion

Peace Marchers in Ankara: our Kith and Kin.

Thousands protest in Istanbul after Ankara attack

Istanbul Protest After Ankara Bombing.

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Mannheim.

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Bordeaux.

Thousands of people, many chanting anti-government slogans, gathered in central Ankara on Sunday near the scene of bomb blasts which killed at least 95 people, mourning the victims of the most deadly attack of its kind on Turkish soil.

Two suspected suicide bombers hit a rally of pro-Kurdish and labor activists near Ankara’s main train station on Saturday, three weeks before an election, shocking a nation beset by conflict between the state and Kurdish militants.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a major presence at Saturday’s march, said police attacked its leaders and members as they tried to leave carnations earlier at the scene. Some were hurt in the melee, it said in a statement.

“Murderer (President Tayyip) Erdogan”, “murderer police”, the crowd chanted in Sihhiye square, as riot police backed by water cannon vehicles blocked a main highway leading to the district where parliament and government buildings are located.

The government denies any suggestion of involvement. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, exposing a mosaic of domestic political perils, said Islamic State, Kurdish militant factions or far-leftist radicals could have carried out the bombing.

Some have suggested militant nationalists opposed to any accommodation with Kurds seeking greater minority rights could have been responsible.

Turkish investigators worked on Sunday to identify the perpetrators and victims of the attack. Newspaper headlines reflected the mixture of grief and anger.

Reuters.

 

Demirtaş: The state has become a mafia and serial killer

HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş said today’s bomb attack in Ankara came during a period of debates of an imminent ceasefire.

ANF News.

Speaking to reporters in Istanbul before leaving for Ankara in the wake of today’s massacre of demonstrators for peace, HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş said the bomb attack came during a period of debates of an imminent ceasefire.

Demirtaş said “We are facing a state mindset that became a mafia, murderer and a serial killer.”

‘RIOT POLICE MOBILIZE INSTEAD OF AMBULANCES’

Pointing out that police forces attacked the scene with tear gas soon after the incident and hindered the access of ambulances, Demirtaş said it was not ambulances but riot police that mobilized after the massacre in the heart of the Turkish capital. “It is obvious that there is an intention to increase the number of deaths. And now representatives of the government and the Prime Minister will say ‘maintain your common sense’ in our faces, while the police forces under their command attack the wounded people. What sort of a government has this become as its police fire tear gas on the people, just like what happened in Diyarbakır? I do not know what kind of a bomb has caused this massacre but it was definitely a malicious one. A highly effective bomb was used here to ensure a high number of casualties, as was the case in Suruç and Diyarbakır. The forces behind this massacre will not be revealed either, because there is an explicit force behind it, just like in Diyarbakır and Suruç”

‘THE STATE BECAME A MAFIA AND SERIAL KILLER’

Demirtaş asked; “Is it possible for a state, whose intelligence organization is this powerful, to not have any information on this incident?, and continued; “There is a bitter situation in question. We are facing a state mindset that became a mafia, murderer and a serial killer which wants to take the society captive. We will overcome these days with the resistance of those not surrendering to persecution. Yet, we will bring those responsible to account within the scope of the law. We will not allow these incidents to go down in history as just a cruelty. We are assured that this mindset will not last forever.”

‘WE CANCELLED OUR ELECTION PROGRAM EVERYWHERE’

HDP Co-President said the party has cancelled all its election program everywhere which they cannot possible run while dozens of people have just been killed. He said they will be dealing with the casualties and manifest everywhere that they will be resisting these attacks. “Freedom and peace is much more important than elections”, he added.

HDP CEC RESOLUTION: WE CONDEMN THE ATTACK AGAINST OUR PEOPLE DEMANDING PEACE

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Our people who said “guns should be silenced without buts and only ifs”, who organized demonstrations and hit the streets to make this demand real were attacked viciously.

Firstly, we wish God’s mercy and grace to 97 lives we lost, and send our condolences to their families and our people, and  hope that hundreds of people who got wounded get better soon.

It is obvious that this attack isn’t different from the massacre in Suruc and bombings in Adana, Mersin and Diyarbakir. These are the results of the language of hatred that the political power used against the ones who worked to bring peace. This attack targeted the ones who struggle for equality, freedom and justice and remained persistent about peace and democracy. This attack is against the dissemination of the language of peace and its actual realization.

In this country, a mafia leader who is fed by the government and some state institutions can organize a demonstration in Rize and announce his commitment and support to the Palace. He states that “they will bleed in streams” and a day after people who demand peace in Ankara are murdered by bombs. Unless the political power cut their ties with these mafia organizations within the country, and global gangs like ISIS and Ahrar es Sam, we will experience these kinds of massacres.

We are sure that all the people who didn’t lose their inner conscience and pride feel the pain in their hearts. We will overcome these difficult days with their and peace activists’ solidarity and union.

We will never let these massacres buried. Those days will come that  the people who instigated and planned these massacres and also the politicians who are responsible for them and actual executors of these actions would be taken to court.

HDP Central Executive Committee

10 October 2015

The Guardian reports,

There were no claims of responsibility for the attack, which came as external threats mount for Nato member Turkey with increased fighting across its border with Syria and incursions by Russian warplanes on its air space over the last week.

The Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, exposing a mosaic of domestic political perils, said Islamic State, Kurdish or far-leftist militants could have carried out the bombing. Experts have said it is unlikely left-wing groups would be behind the attack.

The two blasts happened seconds apart on Saturday morning as crowds, including pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP) activists, leftists, labour unions and other civic groups, gathered for a march to protest over the deaths of hundreds since conflict resumed between security forces and the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) in the mainly Kurdish south-east.

Hours after the bombing, the PKK as widely expected beforehand ordered its fighters to halt operations in Turkey unless they faced attack. It said it would avoid acts that could hinder a “fair and just election” on 1 November.

It was distasteful to watch the BBC reportsafter lengthy items on such important things as the death of a former Minister of Margaret Thatcher.

Davutoglu’s suggestion, that the Turkish far-left has attacked…..the Turkish far left and the broad left, was given, unchallenged.

By contrast a reporter was able to parrot the government response to the following

The pro-Kurdish HDP party has blamed the state. That is undoubtedly a reference to the so-called “deep state” often talked about here: a shady mix of nationalist forces either colluding with or supporting the government in power

The party has previously blamed the government for colluding in attacks on Kurdish activists, which the government denies.

Cemalettin Hasimi, director of press and information at the prime minister’s office, told the BBC that such allegations were “a disgrace, unacceptable”.

AKP inspired mobs, with even further right groups involved,  have attacked HDP offices in recent months.

Violent mobs have attacked Kurdish and other targets in towns across Turkey as the fighting between the government and PKK guerrillas worsens, prompting fears of renewed civil war.

Headquarter offices of the main pro-Kurdish party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which has 80 seats in parliament, were set on fire in the capital Ankara, the southern city of Alanya and more than 100 towns across the country.

There were also attacks on newspaper offices, with the headquarters of Hurriyet, one of the country’s biggest papers, surrounded by a mob chanting slogans in support of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They accused the paper of misquoting the president in a report on a speech which discussed the crisis.

Telegraph 9th of September.

With this background it is understandable that the Turkish left, and the HDP in particular, points the finger in President Erdoğan’s direction.

There have been, nevertheless, unconfirmed reports that the Islamic State, Daesh, has released comments referring to the deaths of “communists and atheists” in Ankara.

Suicide bombings bear all the hallmark of that organisation.

Whether the slaughter was carried out at the instigation, or complicity of the ‘moderate’ Islamists of the AKP Turkish government, or independently  by the genociders of Daesh, remains to be determined.

The most important thing is for international solidarity with the families, the friends and the comrades of those struck down in this atrocity.

They are our sisters and brothers. Our loved ones.

They will not be forgotten.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 11, 2015 at 11:06 am

Ankara: Murderous Bomb Attack on Peace March.

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Hundreds assembling at Wood Green for solidarity march for victims of bombing in Turkey (Photo. G.H)

Our hearts go out to the families, friends and comrades of our beloved sisters and brothers murdered in this attack.

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We Came with our Banners of Peace: They Served to Cover our Dead (Libération.)

Ankara (AFP) – At least 86 people were killed Saturday in the Turkish capital Ankara when twin blasts ripped through groups of leftist and pro-Kurdish activists gathering for an anti-government peace rally, the deadliest attack in the history of modern Turkey.

The attack, near Ankara’s main train station, ratcheted up tensions ahead of Turkey’s November 1 snap elections which were already soaring amid the government’s offensive on Kurdish militants.

Bodies of the slain activists were seen strewn across the ground after the blasts, with the banners they had been holding lying next to them for the “Work, Peace and Democracy” rally.

Sixty-two people died at the scene of the blasts and 24 more then succumbed to their wounds in hospital, Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu told reporters in Ankara. He said another 186 people had been injured in the attack, 28 of them seriously.

Agence France Presse.

Death toll at 86 in grisly Ankara bombing

By RUDAW 15 minutes ago

ANKARA – Two explosions at a peace march in central Ankara on Saturday have killed at least 86 people with the death toll expected to increase due to the high number of wounded, according to officials.

The blast occurred at 10:05 am local time near a train station in the Turkish capital. TV footage shows scenes of panic and people lying on the ground covered in blood, amid protest banners.

“After the explosions there was a clash between families of the victims and police,” Rudaw reporter Mashalla Dakak reported live from the scene of the blasts.

“No party has claimed responsibility for the attack,” he added, saying at least 100 people were wounded besides those who had been killed.
Turkey’s president condemned the attacks as “terrorist acts”.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced what he called “this loathsome attack that targeted our unity and our togetherness”.

Government officials are investigating reports that a suicide bomber was behind at least one of the explosions.

The rally was called by the Confederation of Public Sector Trades’ Unions to demand an end to the fight between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK.
The pro-Kurdish HDP party, which was was among those attending the rally, said in a statement that it believes its members were the main target of the bombings.

Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the HDP has blamed the state for the attack, which he called “a huge massacre. The opposition party has called off all its election rallies.

Demirtas said that whenever his HDP party kick offs an election campaigns an attack occurs.

“Unfortunately, another massacre happened and those rallying for peace were brutally wounded and killed. It reminds us of the Suruc explosion,” Demirtas added, referring to a mid-July attack that killed 27 people at a student rally in the southern Turkish town of Suruc.

Turkey’s new polls are scheduled to be held Nov 1.
Turkey is holding a re-run of June’s inconclusive parliamentary elections on 1 November.

Later on Saturday, the PKK called on its fighters to halt its guerrilla activities in Turkey unless attacked first.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Paty (HDP), said Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) must take the blame for Saturday’s twin blasts at an Ankara railway station that has left at least 40 people dead and 100 wounded.

RUDAW.

“The AKP’s hands are red with blood and they support this terror,” said Demirtas to a crowd of reporters at HDP headquarters in Ankara.

Turkish government officials described the blasts as a “terrorist attack” and said they were investigating claims that a suicide bomber was responsible.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is to reportedly scheduled to hold a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan, government officials and security chiefs in response to the attack.

Demirtas alleged that the people of Turkey have no right to freedom of expression and are forced to support the government.

“In this country, whoever speaks out against the government will be shot…[I]if you don’t support the government you will be deprived from basic human rights and means of prosperity,” Demirtas told the press.

“If a child throws a stone at the police, they will answer him with a bullet.”

Demirtas said that whenever his HDP party kick offs an election campaigns an attack occurs.

“Unfortunately, another massacre happened and those rallying for peace were brutally wounded and killed. It reminds us of the Suruc explosion,” Demirtas added, referring to a mid-July attack that killed 27 people at a student rally in the southern Turkish town of Suruc.

He continued: “[The government] wants to silence us but we will continue our peaceful struggle until the last drop of our blood. And I told them, ‘If you want to stop us with these cowardly explosions, you cannot.’”

Turkey’s new polls are scheduled to be held Nov 1.

There will be a solidarity march on Sunday 3pm Trafalgar Sq to Downing st.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 10, 2015 at 4:02 pm