Turkish police intervene commemorations of Ankara massacre victims

People who lost their lives in the October 10 Ankara Massacre are remembered on the second anniversary of the incident. However, Turkish police attacked the families, who wanted to gather in front of the Ankara Central Train Station to commemorate the victims, with tear gas.

Turkish police have also battered and detained 67 students who wanted to mark the Ankara massacre at İstanbul University. Gathering at Havuzlu Bahçe in Central Campus in İstanbul’s district of Beyazıt, the students wanted to issue a press statement following one minute silence for the 102 people who lost their lives in the attack. However, the police intervened in the students.

According to an information obtained from a student, one of the detainee’s arm was broken, and some others were injured in their faces. The detained students have been reportedly taken to the Beyazıt Police Station.

Two years have passed since the Ankara Train Station Bombing, which killed 102 people and wounded more than 500 people. It was carried out by two Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) members who blew themselves among demonstrators who came Ankara to attend a “Peace Rally.”

All the streets leading up to the station were closed off early in the morning on Tuesday. Around 100 people gathered on Sıhhiye Avenue and wanted to walk to the area where the memorial service was to be held, but the police only allowed the families, deputies and NGO representatives through. When the group wanted to continue all together, the police attacked with tear gas. There are reportedly some detentions as well.

After the initial investigation on Ankara attack one of ISIL attackers had been identified as Yunus Emre Alagöz. The other couldn’t be identified but Turkish authorities said that he is a Syrian national. Alagöz was also the older brother of Abdurrahman Alagöz who carried out the attack against socialist youths in Suruç which killed 34 people three months before the Ankara massacre.

In 2013 some families in Adıyaman informed Turkish police that their children had joined ISIL. After that police took a number of people, including Alagöz brothers, under technical surveillance. In March of 2015, police recorded conversations of Alagöz brothers bidding farewell to each other. It was a signal that they were preparing for an attack. Also 22 days before the October 10 attack Turkish Security Directorate issued a report that warned against ISIS attacks. Recently, a new footage emerged how Alagöz and other attacker freely reached the spot where they carried out the attack.

It was claimed that, on the day of the bombing Ankara Governorate and Security Directorate did not take measures to guarantee security for the participants of the meeting. What happened after the bombing also validates the responsibility of Turkish officials.

The indictment concerning the attack was approved on July 13, 2016. The indictment stated that the attack order was given by ISIL representative to Turkey İlhami Balı. It was stated in the indictment that it was the same people who organized the Suruç attack, which killed 33 people. 14 suspects including Balı face from 5,083 to 7,820 years in prison on charges of “attempted murder for multiple times” and “attempting to annihilate constitutional order.”

Of the victim lawyers Zinet Özçelik said at the latest hearing held on September 25 that they examined the CPS reports that show the routes and movements of the ambulances following the explosion and that 11 ambulances didn’t receive any patient and nine others arrived at the scene half an hour later.

The first hearing of the trial was held at Ankara 4th High Criminal Court on November 7, 2016. Five hearings have been held so far. The sixth hearing of the trial in which 36 suspects 17 of whom are at large will be heard on November 22-23.

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