Turkey’s CHP seeks parliamentary inquiry into Oct 10 Ankara massacre

Turkey’s CHP seeks parliamentary inquiry into Oct 10 Ankara massacre

Turkey’s CHP seeks parliamentary inquiry into Oct 10 Ankara massacre

CİHAN photo

Recent media reports that revealed that Turkish intelligence units were tipped off about imminent suicide bomb attacks targeting rallies 25 days before Oct. 10, 2015, blasts in Ankara have prompted Turkey’s main opposition to demand a parliamentary inquiry to determine whether intelligence and security officials were guilty of “negligence” prior to the attack.

Last week, dailies Cumhuriyet and Evrensel both reported that a preliminary survey report investigating the Oct. 10 blasts determined that an intelligence officer failed to convey key information to his superiors due to “negligence or other motivations,” thus inhibiting further security measures.

After jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) bombed a peace rally near the Ankara Railway Station on Oct. 10, 2015, authorities delivered “unserious statements such as cocktail terror,” a group of deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said in their motion for an inquiry presented to the Parliament Speaker’s Office on April 19. At the time, both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu suggested that a “cocktail” of armed groups – including ISIL, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and others – was behind the peace rally attack.

“It is seen that the case is not a ‘cocktail’ and so forth, but was ISIL terror with its name and surname,” said the CHP group, led by Ankara deputy Murat Emir.

“According to reports in recent days, in the preliminary survey report drafted by four inspectors tasked by Interior Minister Efkan Ala, serious negligence by the security and intelligence units concerning the attack were noted,” they said, listing various questions regarding the course of events before the attack, which they said needed to be “urgently” addressed.

‘Traitors’ and ‘terrorism’

A co-leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), one of the organizers of the Oct. 10 peace rally, also referred to the reports on the attack.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is “primarily” and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is “secondarily responsible” for the ongoing violence in the country, HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş said April 19.

“We are the ones who want to end the war; you are the ones who want to incite it. Did we hold even a single war rally? You are the ones who got the Oct. 10 peace rally bombed. Its documents have been revealed,” Demirtaş said, speaking at a parliamentary group meeting of his party. “What did I say after the Oct. 10 massacre? ‘These kinds of incidents do not take place without the state having information about it.’ What did they say: ‘You are traitors,’” he said.

Meanwhile, Cumhuriyet correspondent Kemal Göktaş and Evrensel correspondents Cem Gurbetoğlu and Tamer Arda Erşin, who authored the stories, were interrogated by a prosecutor on April 18 as the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office swiftly launched an investigation on charges related to “terrorism.”

The three correspondents are being investigated on charges defined in Article 6 of the Anti-Terror Law which says: “Those who announce or publish that a crime will be committed by terrorist organizations against persons, in a way that makes it possible for these persons to be identified, whether or not by specifying their names and identities, or those who disclose or publish the identities of state officials that were assigned in the fight against terrorism, or those who mark persons as targets in the same manner, shall be punished with imprisonment ranging between one and three years.”