Rocket attack targets police buildings in Ankara

Rocket attack targets police buildings in Ankara

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Rocket attack targets police buildings in Ankara

The attack took place around 10 p.m. in Ankara's sensitive Dikmen neighborhood, Sept. 20. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

An attack involving three rockets targeted two police buildings in Ankara’s Dikmen neighborhood in the evening of Sept. 20.
There were no casualties as a result of the attack, according to the Health Ministry. However, the rockets have caused material damage to one of the buildings targeted.   

Police officers were immediately dispatched to the scene. One of the suspected perpetrators was killed, and the other injured, in the operation launched after the attack.

Interior Minister Muammer Güler arrived at the scene to assess it himself a few minutes after the attack. 

One of the rockets struck the first floor of a social facilities building, just above the restaurant. The other rocket hit an annex building located on the grounds of the Police General Directorate's social service campus, across from the scene of the initial attack. A third rocket did not explode and experts were sent to safely dismantle it.

“There are no deaths or injuries. The perpetrators fired [the rockets] from the bushes on the pavement of Çetin Emeç Boulevard. We have found an unexploded rocket, a backpack and a piece of fabric belonging to the organization [of the suspects] at the point where they committed the attack,” Güler told reporters after examination of the scene.

“All our units have been activated to find the perpetrators. We are of the assumption that they have escaped to the Dikmen Valley,” he added.

Dikmen Valley is a highly sensitive area of Ankara where the Municipality has launched several urban renewal projects, which have caused frequent tensions between security forces and locals. 

When asked which group the piece of fabric belonged to, Güler said that investigations will further confirm those responsible for the attack. “This has no importance at the moment. [The piece of fabric] could have been left with an aim of misleading [police].  Our examinations are ongoing,” he said.


Three rockets hit the police facilities building.
Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek confirmed that there
were no casualties. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin

One suspect killed

An operation has been launched to find the perpetrators of the attack.

Police intercepted the suspects near the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) campus. One of them was killed while the other was injured during the clashes that ensued, officials said. 

Both suspects were seen running from the scene a few moments after the incident took place, witnesses said.

Meanwhile, Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, who was in the middle of a live interview on private broadcaster CNN Türk when the incident occurred, confirmed that the rocket attack did not cause any casualties.

“Activities such as weddings are organized in this facilities building on week-ends. It is a miracle that there were no casualties,” Gökçek said.

Tensions were high in Ankara since the beginning of September due to the Municipality’s road construction project that is set to lead to the destruction of 3,000 trees in ODTÜ's campus.

Clashes also broke out at the Tuzluçayır neighborhood in the Mamak district during a protest against a controversial project to build an Alevi cemevi and a Sunni mosque next to each other.

Last March, another rocket attack targeted the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) national headquarters, with one rocket hitting a point between the eight and seventh floors, where the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is located.

Authorities have accused the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), the outlawed leftist organization responsible for a suicide attack against the American Embassy in February, of the attack, with Erdoğan saying that it was aimed at disrupting the Kurdish resolution process.