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Turkey Accused of Turning Blind Eye to ISIS Suicide Attack

Turkey Accused of Turning Blind Eye to ISIS Suicide Attack

Tuesday, 21 July, 2020 - 07:00
The mother of a victim (C) cries for her son on his coffin during a funeral ceremony in Gaziantep on July 21, 2015, following a suicide bomb attack the day before which killed 33 in the southern Turkish town of Suruc. Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images.

As Turkey marked the fifth anniversary of the Suruc suicide bombing that left 33 people dead and 100 wounded, the Justice for Suruc Platform, a group of lawyers and legal institutions involved in the case, accused government officials of having prior knowledge of the plot but turning a blind eye.

ISIS bombed a group of youth activists, the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF), in the southern Turkish province of Sanlıurfa, bordering Syria.

The suicide bomber, Abdurrahman Alagoz, was later discovered to be a wanted terror suspect, along with his brother Yunus Emre, the perpetrator of the deadly Ankara bombing that killed 109 people a few months later in October 2015, the report said.

Despite authorities’ efforts to search people in the vicinity, Alagoz managed to roam freely in Suruc on the day of the attack, according to the report, which cited footage as evidence. Moreover, after the attack, police forces prevented ambulances from arriving on the scene of the incident.

Requests by Justice for Suruc Platform to expand the scope of the investigation, open it to public control, and include victims in the process have all been denied, and an application submitted to Turkey’s Constitutional Court regarding alleged violations in the case was rejected.

Five hours had been cut from the video footage of the day of the Suruc attack – footage that was only brought in as evidence for the investigation three-and-a-half years later, the report said.

“It is evident that footage following the massacre was intentionally not included in the case file,” the report states, as it shows “how the transfer of the wounded to hospitals was prevented by law-enforcement authorities, pepper spray was used on the crowds and perhaps more."

“It is very evident that the state overlooked a massacre by not taking precautions in Suruc,’’ the report added. “There is not just an oversight, but ill intent and this is not a claim, as it is a truth that has been substantiated by documents."

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