President, parties condemn attack, leaders to attend funeral of victims
Deputy PM Atalay, Interior Minister Şahin and AKP deputy co-chair Çelik attends the funeral of Sena Büyükkonuk who was killed in the attack. AA photoCondemning the terrorist attack in Gaziantep that claimed the lives of nine people Aug. 20, political party leaders and the Parliament speaker have pledged to attend a funeral for those killed in the attack in a show of unity and solidarity against terrorism.
President Abdullah Gül, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli have announced they will be present for today’s funeral in Gaziantep, alongside many other politicians.
“I curse the perpetrators of this felonious attack, which targeted innocent civilians, including children. This massacre committed against children in the prime of their lives shows us once again how terrorism is a crime against humanity,” Gül said in a written message. “I hope the entire world will see the real faces of the perpetrators of this act and how far they are from humanitarian values.”
No deviation from democracy
“With the support it receives from the people, our government will continue to fight terrorism with determination and without deviating from democracy and the rule of law,” Erdoğan said in a written message Aug. 21. “The terrorism targeting at our brotherhood, unity and comfort must sooner or later lose in the face of the determination and devoutness of our people and our security forces.”
Erdoğan will first attend the funeral to be held in Gaziantep, and will then travel to Rize, his home province, to be present for his aunt’s funeral. Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek also condemned the brutal attack, saying terrorism had shown its ugly face once again, this time during the holy Ramadan Bayram. “Those who believe they can achieve their goals by killing innocent civilians [commit acts of] negligence and betrayal,” he said in a written message.
Those who committed this ugly attack against innocent civilians cannot be described as human beings, Kılıçdaroğlu said, vowing to protect the unity of the people whatever terrorists do. “I don’t call the perpetrators of this attack human beings, because a human being would never do such a thing. All political parties and non-governmental organizations should take a common position against terrorism,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a written message yesterday.
The MHP strongly condemned the terrorist attack, and accused the government of encouraging terrorists with its “opening” policy. “No one has the right to waste our people’s time by expressing sorrow, advising and calling for common sense,” deputy MHP leader Mehmet Şandır said yesterday. “Everyone should be on one side. A joint fight against terrorism should be launched.”
BDP condemns attack, blames Turkey’s Syria policy
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) said it clearly condemned and cursed the attack against civilians in Gaziantep, and advised the government to change its Syria policy, implying that the terrorist act was connected with developments there.
“We are clearly cursing and condemning this attack, which massacred our children and civilians and bloodied this holy Bayram,” read a statement issued by the BDP’s two co-chairpersons, Gültan Kışanak and Selahattin Demirtaş.
The BDP is a political party mainly focused on the Kurdish question, almost all support for which comes from the country’s southeastern region. It has been frequently subjected to criticism from the government and other parties for not distancing itself from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“We regret those who try to point to our party and its members as targets in the wake of this attack,” read the party leaders’ statement, adding that the only way to avoid violence is to take steps to strengthen institutional democracy and internal peace.