Turkish police beat and detain 19 people commemorating victims of 2015 ISIS attack in Suruç

Photo: MA

Police beat and detained 19 people on Sunday in Adana province during a commemoration of the 33 victims of an ISIS suicide attack that took place in the Suruç district of Şanlıurfa six years ago, Mezopotamya news agency reported.

Many people, including representatives from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), gathered in Adana’s İnönü Park for the commemoration. Speaking to the crowd, Canser Dayanır from the HDP said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was responsible for the attack. Following the speech the attendees wanted to march but the police stopped and dispersed the crowd, detaining 19.

The detainees were released on Monday.

On July 20, 2015 a group of university students who were traveling to the Syrian town of Kobani (officially known as Ayn-al Arab) on the Turkish border to help with reconstruction efforts gathered outside the Amara Cultural Center in Suruç to make a press statement. The city of Kobani was recaptured from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by a coalition of Kurdish forces supported by the US in January 2015, but it was in ruins as a result of intense fighting.

A suicide bomb that went off during the gathering in front of the cameras claimed the lives of 33 people and injured more than 100. Most of the victims were members of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) youth wing and the Socialist Youth Associations Federation (SGDF). ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack the next day. Relatives of the victims blamed the police for failing to take the necessary precautions.

The first hearing in the case concerning the attack was held 21 months after the incident, in 2017. Currently, there is only one suspect under arrest, Yakup Şahin, who is also accused of planning a terrorist attack against a large gathering of mainly pro-Kurdish and leftist groups in Ankara on October 10, 2015 that claimed the lives of 109 people.

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