Evidence show two terror organizations behind Ankara massacre: PM
Serkan DemirtaşOnly three days after the deadly suicide bombings that killed 97 people in the country’s gravest terror incident, we, as the Ankara bureau chiefs of some newspapers, had the chance to meet with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu at a breakfast on Oct. 13 and discuss all dimensions of this massacre.
As we met him a day after he announced the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as the prime suspect of the bombings, a good portion of questions were about the initial results of the investigation. Different from his Monday statements, Davutoğlu informed us that the probe was being run on two different traces:
“There are some findings on the DNA examination of the first suicide bomber. And a probe is being carried out on the links of the second suicide bomber. We also have made progress on the planning phase of this attack. All this evidence indicates the existence of two different terror organizations. We are trying to find out whether there was collaboration between these two gangs.”
Although he named the first terror organization as ISIL, Davutoğlu refrained to name the second because of concerns that this could affect the conduct of the probe. “We will not leave this incident unresolved. We will identify the perpetrators of this attack and will go until the end. We will also find out their links, if there is any. Whatever is necessary will be done,” he said.
New security concept
Another issue intensely discussed was whether there was negligence on the part of security forces in preventing this attack. He explained that this was something he also looked into right after the incident and informed that he asked questions of the ministers of the interior and justice.
“‘Did the explosions occur within the demonstration area or outside of it?’ I asked them. They replied it was outside. I told them this was a serious frailty and necessary changes should be made on defining the demonstration area. On this, an administrative probe is already ongoing. Furthermore, I have instructed the cabinet to review our entire legal framework on the conduct of public demonstrations. There is a work [happening] for a new security concept,” he said.
Entire Turkey was targeted
The attack targeted all of Turkey, Davutoğlu said, as perpetrators chose a public rally with participation from everywhere in the country. “Just like in Suruç, this attack also targeted Turkey’s most sensitive segments of the society. This is an attack that can cause some consequences in regards to sectarian and ethnic fault lines,” he said.
But Davutoğlu is sure that Turkey can successfully pass this test of societal conscience by not allowing those who wanted to spark fresh chaos out of this pain. “It was obvious that some worked on a scenario of chaos; we had to stop this. I should thank the families of our victims for their very honorable stance and preventing traumatic results of this attack,” he said, adding that the Turkish people could overcome this period psychologically uninjured.
Elections must be held in peace
As Turkey is healing its wounds, now it’s time to take Turkey to elections in full comfort and security, the prime minister said, adding the timing of this attack also aimed to cast a shadow on the elections, its results and on Turkey’s overall democracy.
“As we go to the Nov. 1 polls, there are those now trying to block the establishment of long-term stability in the country. The main question of the June 7 elections was whether the HDP [Peoples’ Democratic Party] will pass the 10 percent threshold. The question before this election is whether the AK Party [Justice and Development Party] will form a one-party government. The objective of this attack is to threaten democracy in Turkey. That’s why the AK Party is under attack even before the incident in a bid to influence election results.