AKP rule means Turkey is always safe, says PM
In this Nov. 16, 2015 photo, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is delivering a speech as he gathered with his deputies a day before an oath-taking ceremony at parliament following the Nov. 1 snap elections. AA PhotoThe ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) hold over the power of the nation makes Turkey “always safe,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has argued, in the wake of the Paris attacks where jihadists killed at least 129 people.
“If the AK Parti [AKP] is standing on its feet, then Turkey is always safe,” Davutoğlu said on Nov. 16, while citing the AKP’s “astute way of governance” as a reason for such an assurance.
“If we had not given the required response after the Suruç attack, if we had not given a response in the face of simultaneous attacks, then graver troubles could have emerged,” Davutoğlu said, as he gathered with his deputies a day before an oath-taking ceremony at parliament following the Nov. 1 snap elections.
He was referring to a suicide bombing attack against socialist activists in the border town of Suruç which killed 34 people in July. Violence between Turkish security forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) reignited this summer after the attack in Suruç, shattering a fragile peace process, dubbed the “resolution process” by governmental officials, following a two-and-a-half-year de facto period of non-conflict. The bombing was blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which also launched the Paris attacks, but the PKK and many in the Turkish opposition blamed the AKP for creating the conditions to facilitate the attack.
“The Paris attacks openly displayed that terror is a threat in every place in the world and for every society. Those heartless [people] - who called the state a ‘murderer state’ and who addressed Mr. President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] and me as ‘You who are responsible for this terror’ while we were grappling with taking our wounded to hospitals and collecting bodies after the Ankara Railway Station attack - now have to draw a lesson from the reaction shown by the French opposition, intellectuals and press after the incident in France,” he said.
Davutoğlu’s remarks were an apparent reference to a polemic he had with the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş, in the aftermath of the Oct. 10 Ankara massacre, when a twin suicide bombing by ISIL killed 100 peace activists in the heart of the capital city.
At the time, Davutoğlu said he would agree to meet Demirtaş only if he publicly acknowledged making a mistake by blaming state forces for the attack. The HDP co-chair responded by saying it was actually the prime minister who should apologize. The HDP was among the organizers of the peace rally in Ankara on the day of the blasts and its grassroots had a major presence there. Four people were also killed in a bombing at an HDP rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 5, only two days before the June 7 parliamentary elections.