Protests rage across Turkey over deadly Suruç bombing

Protests rage across Turkey over deadly Suruç bombing

Protests rage across Turkey over deadly Suruç bombing

AFP photo

Protests have continued across Turkey after a suicide bombing attack in the southeastern border town of Suruç on July 20 left at least 32 people dead and more than 100 others injured.

Forty-nine protesters were detained in multiple locations in Istanbul on July 21 for staging protests against the deadly Suruç bombing in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. 

Police seized three hand-made cluster bombs, 203 Molotov cocktails, a pump-action rifle, a blank-firing pistol, 125 pieces of ammunition, two firework-launching platforms and 40 boxes of fireworks used in resistance against security forces as part of the operations, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Eleven protesters were detained on July 21 in Kadıköy, a district on the Asian side of Istanbul, after around 500 protesters gathered at 8 p.m. at a central square in Kadıköy waving black flags, placards and photos of the victims of the Suruç bombing, Doğan News Agency reported late July 21.

The police fired tear gas and water cannon at the protesters, who defended themselves with stones and fireworks before many of them fanned out into the side streets of Kadıköy. 

Twenty-five others were detained after attempting to march toward the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) bureau in Istanbul’s Şişli district on July 21. Protesters, political parties and left-wing NGOs have long accused the AKP of offering either direct or tacit support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has been blamed for the Suruç attack. At rallies across the country, protesters frequently shouted “Murderous ISIL, collaborator AKP.”

Thirteen protesters were also detained in Suruç protests in the Istanbul districts of Maltepe, Sultangazi and Küçükçekmece the same day.

In a separate protest in the eastern province of Ağrı, four protesters were detained and four police officers were slightly injured in clashes that erupted after a large number of protesters attempted to hold a sit-in following a press briefing on July 21. After declaring the action illegal, police attacked the activists with tear gas and water cannon.

Gendarmerie forces, meanwhile, discovered a bomb of around 120 kilograms on a road close to Sütlüce village in the eastern province of Tunceli, popularly known as Dersim, the Turkish General Staff said in a written statement on July 21.

Tunceli Gendarmerie Forces while on daily patrol, discovered the remote-controlled explosive device early July 21 in two gas cylinders alongside a road in the Mutlu neighborhood of Sütlüce, the statement said.

The Suruç bombing elicited sorrow and rage from several parties and spurred protests across the country, with people taking to streets to protest the deadly attack.

The suicide bomber, who has been tentatively identified as Şeyh Abdurrahman Alagöz, detonated explosives on July 20 at Suruç Municipality’s Amara Cultural Center as members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) prepared to travel to Kobane in Rojava to aid in the town’s reconstruction following its liberation from ISIL forces in January.