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Turkish Police Forcibly Disperse Group Commemorating Terrorist Attack

Turkish Police Forcibly Disperse Group Commemorating Terrorist Attack

Tuesday, 12 October, 2021 - 11:00
Protesters gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, to condemn the attacks. (EPA)

Turkish police used tear gas on Sunday to disperse people who had gathered to commemorate the victims of a terrorist attack in Ankara six years ago. Police arrested 22 individuals.

The authorities only allowed the families of the victims and some representatives of non-governmental organizations to gather in front of the train station, where the terrorist act had taken place.

On October 10, 2015, two powerful bombs exploded at a peace rally near the main train station in Ankara, killing 103 people and injuring 400 others in the deadliest attack in the Turkish capital.

Participants held black balloons, lit candles and put red carnations on the ground.

The attack was carried out only three weeks before June’s inconclusive parliamentary elections.

The government held ISIS responsible, but the group did not claim responsibility, raising tension between the government and the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

HDP considered the attack directed against it, as the party had called for a peace march to end tension in the country, in which many civil society organizations participated.

Authorities charged 36 suspected ISIS members, some of whom were tried in absentia. The charges included murder, belonging to a terrorist organization and disturbing the constitutional order.

A Turkish court sentenced nine defendants to life in prison in August 2018. Testimonies shed light on weaknesses in border security and intelligence, which lawyers said allowed terrorists to turn areas in Turkey into bases for militants.

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