Turkey’s Deputy PM attends anti-terrorism march in Tunis
TUNIS - Anadolu Agency
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi gestures as he gives a speech while standing next to French President Francois Hollande (C-R) and other foreign dignitaries at Tunis' Bardo Museum following a march against extremism, on March 29, 2015 in Tunis. In the photograph, Turkish Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmuş is seen standing behind President Hollande. AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAIDTurkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş participated in an anti-terrorism march along with local and foreign officials in Tunis March 29, in an event which highlighted Tunisia’s national unity in the wake of a recent terrorist attack.
French President François Hollande, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as well his Algerian counterpart Abdel-Malek Sellal were in the Tunisian capital on March 29 to take part in the demonstration in response to an invitation by the Tunisian government.
The march, which comes in the wake of a deadly attack on Tunis’ Bardo Museum earlier this month, kicked off earlier on March 29 with the participation of tens of thousands of Tunisian demonstrators amid a strong security presence.
The march headed towards the museum where a memorial for the victims of the attack will be inaugurated.
“This march reflects the national unity of Tunisians, irrespective of their political persuasions, in standing against terrorism,” Hussein Tarabulsi, a citizen from the country’s northwestern region, told The Anadolu Agency.
“The participation of [world] leaders and public officials affirms that the terrorism phenomenon is a global one that everyone is keen on eliminating,” Tarabulsi said.
Mahdi Zoraibi, who travelled from Tunisia’s southern region to attend the march, for his part, told AA, “terrorism has no place among Tunisians.”
“Tunisia is a conservative Muslim country built on the values of tolerance and fraternity, which stand in stark contrast to terrorism and the killing of innocent people,” Zoraibi said.
The March 29 march coincided with Tunisia’s announcement that the leader of the group suspected to be behind the attack has been killed along with eight other militants in a security operation in the southwestern province of Gafsa.
The march was akin to the one held in France in January following the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a march that saw the participation of over 40 world leaders.
At least 24 people, mostly foreign tourists, were killed and over 47 were injured earlier this month when gunmen stormed Tunis’ Bardo Museum.
The attack ended when Tunisian security forces raided the museum, killed two gunmen and liberated the tourists inside.
Tourists from Italy, Japan, Poland and Spain were among those killed in the attack, the responsibility for which was later claimed by a group affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Tunisian Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli sacked several senior security officials a few days after the attack.