Double bomb attack in Ankara targets ‘resolution process’: Turkish PM Erdoğan
The perpetrators used a flame thrower during the attack, which targeted the AKP headquarters in Ankara. A Turkish flag was later put on the building to cover the damage caused by the attack. DHA photo
The double attack against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters and the Justice Ministry aimed to damage the ongoing "resolution process" between the Turkish government and the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said March 20 in a press conference during his official visit to Denmark.
While responsibility for the attacks has been claimed by the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), Erdoğan also suggested that Ergenekon, a network mostly comprised by military commanders accused of plotting to overthrow the government, could be involved.
“The target of these attacks, which took place while we were passing through a very sensitive process, is clearly democracy, the resolution process, our national will, as well as our fraternity,” he said during a speech at the Turkish-Danish Forum. “Terrorism is evil whatever the target is. However, targeting a political party - the most important element of democracy - the national will and pluralism, is much worse.”
Following the forum, Erdoğan told reporters that the perpetrators of the attack had been identified, emphasizing that "deep state" networks might be related to the attacks.
“The other dimension of the incident is the connection to Ergenekon. Similar things happened in the past. Whenever Turkey enters a healthy process, connections such as the deep state or Ergenekon come forth and these sort of incidents happen,” he said, adding that a clearer picture would emerge following the capture and interrogation of the suspects.
The attack that targeted the Justice Ministry building in Ankara on March 19 left one injured. The injured individual was the spouse of a ministry employee and was released after treatment, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said.
Just moments later, the AKP’s headquarters in the city were also attacked. According to the Interior Ministry, the perpetrators used a flame thrower that hit the seventh and eighth floors of the building, near the office of the prime minister. Erdoğan was had departed to Denmark for an official visit when the attack happened.
US mission attacker claims attacks
The DHKP/C, claimed responsibility for the attack in a declaration posted on its website on March 20. Senior government members had expressed their belief that the illegal leftist group was the prime suspect immediately after the attack. Police have been continuing operations against the group since it claimed responsibility for the Feb. 1 suicide attack targeting the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, which killed one person, as well as the attacker, Ecevit Şanlı.
The attack happened two days before an anticipated cease-fire call from the imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, expected to be delivered during a massive Nevruz festival celebration in Diyarbakır on March 21. The call is considered a key step in the moving forward of talks between the government and the PKK.