Seventy days after the Suruç massacre, where a suicide bombing attack took the lives of 33, another massacre has occurred in Ankara in a remarkably similar way. Although the exact number of casualties is still unclear, it is certain that more than 100 people have been killed and more than 400 wounded. This time the target of the massacre has been the Labour, Peace and Democracy Rally, organised by the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK), the Confederation of Public Employees' Trade Unions (KESK), the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), and Turkish Medical Association (TTB), under the slogan “Stop war, peace right now!”
Near Ankara’s main railway station, where groups of demonstrators were gathering to start their march to the rally venue, successive blasts took place. Just like in the two previous cases, namely the explosion in Diyarbakır rally of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) just two days before the June 7 parliamentary election, and suicide bombing in Suruç on July 20, the police showed up after the area turned into a bloodbath to attack the demonstrators, spraying tear gas and blocking the path of ambulances. Regardless of who is in power, this reaction, which surprised no one, is a typical example of Turkish state’s attitude in such cases –a state whose genes is marked by massacres.
It is obvious that the purpose of this massacre is mass intimidation and terrorisation, just as in the two previous cases of Diyarbakır and Suruç massacres. In their effort to maintain their militarist, pro-war policies, the rulers of Turkey are using any means at their disposal to stifle the desire for peace among masses before it gathers strength, to suppress the calls for peace, and to deprive HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party), which is already under a strong media censorship, of mass election rallies in order that it fails to surpass the 10 percent electoral threshold in the November 1 parliamentary election. Targeting of such a mass demonstration in the capital of the country, which is also one of the major cities in the western half of Turkey, is also a menace to future mass gatherings of protest of any sort, regardless of the content.
What is particularly remarkable about Ankara massacre is that the support given to Kurdish people by socialist and progressive circles and workers’ organisations from the western part of the country has once again been targeted. The Suruç massacre directly aimed at a group of young socialists who gathered to declare their support and show their solidarity for the resistance in Kobanê. Now the rally of progressive workers’ unions and chambers, who gathered to raise their voice for peace, has been attacked. This has been another link in the bloody chain of sabotages aimed at preventing the emergence of sympathy in the west of the country towards the rightful struggle of the Kurdish people.
The date chosen for the attack, which exactly coincides with PKK’s ceasefire announcement before the election, also tells a lot. It can be easily seen that the establishment, under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Erdoğan, has no tolerance for peace propaganda. Hence, one can clearly distinguish between those who support peace and those who oppose it.
The first statements of governmental authorities provide clear clues on those who are responsible for this massacre. Former environment minister, Veysel Eroğlu, in an effort to misdirect the public attention, declared that the suicide bombing was a terrorist attack aimed at keeping HDP above the electoral threshold and that it was similar to what had been aimed by the explosion in Diyarbakır. The same argument has been parroted by a columnist from Yeni Şafak, a mouthpiece of AKP. Of course, these have been only the most blatant examples on the rulers’ side.
A more widespread attitude is shown in the form of misdirecting the general attention, abstract condemnations of terror or hypocritical declarations that express sadness but fail to cover the bloody hands of a murderer. Is not this the country where “a thousand operations” were conducted and 17,000 unsolved murders were committed along with the murder of tens of thousands of revolutionists, progressive and democrat people at the hands of secret or open agencies of the state? One point must be highlighted: any approach that turns a blind eye to the real perpetrators is, to say the least, hypocritical, if not complicity. The working class should by no means hesitate in identifying those.
In addition to the statements of authorities, the attitude of the media also explains us a lot about the perpetrators. Mainstream bourgeois media has already been filled with all sorts of lies and distortions about the massacre. Even after such a massive, monstrous massacre, where everything is clear as day, these hired pens and broadcasters did not stop making outrageous comments. If this attack occurred in an AKP rally, this shameless bunch of clowns would not hesitate to tell stories about a world-wide plot to overthrow AKP, about a coup being staged by utilising “terrorism”, and of course about their determination to resist all these.
Our “prestigious” news channels, which do not hesitate to interrupt their routine and switch to live coverage even for the minor news on the part of government and state, did not even interrupt their weekend schedule for almost an hour following the massacre. CNN Türk bothered itself to announce the attack through banners and subtitles that stressed that it was a “terrorist attack”. Considering the fact that CNN Türk probably represents the softest version of the disgraceful broadcasting policy in the mainstream media, one can imagine the rest of the media.
We know who is behind this massacre, just like we know the perpetrator of previous massacres. We have not the slightest doubt about that. This country has witnessed numerous such massacres. In almost all cases, those responsible for the massacres remained veiled. Gathering information even about the birds in the sky, the state systematically abstained from unveiling the perpetrators of any of these massacres, while the prosecution processes were mere shams. Even when some triggermen were caught and ended up in court due to “poor” obfuscation, they received the lightest possible sentences. These facts give an indication of whom to point our fingers at.
But the rulers will not succeed in achieving their goals through such attacks. They will not be able to stifle the rightful struggle of the Kurdish people, which constitutes their biggest challenge at this stage. Nor will they be able to stifle the fight conducted by socialists, revolutionists and progressives who stand in solidarity with the Kurdish people. We are deeply in sorrow for our brothers and sisters who lost their lives in this vicious attack. We wish a full and speedy recovery to our wounded brothers and sisters. And we shout out loud to blood-guilty rulers of the capitalist order that our rage and determination are now further sharpened, free from the slightest trace of dismay. We are determined to prevent their plot, in which Erdoğan has the leading role, and which has turned the country into a bloodbath.
As we wrote after the Suruç massacre, the working class and the oppressed peoples will surely bring those responsible for this vicious massacre to account. The task ahead of us is not to succumb to dismay, but to heighten the struggle against Kurdophobia, rabid imperialist policies and religious sectarianism.
You will not get away with the innocent blood you shed! You shall be brought to account!
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