Turkey’s opposition claims intelligence deficiencies after Ankara attack

Turkey’s opposition claims intelligence deficiencies after Ankara attack

Turkey’s opposition claims intelligence deficiencies after Ankara attack

AP photo

Opposition parties have pointed the finger at Turkey’s intelligence and security agencies for failing to stop the deadly terrorist attack in the capital Ankara that killed 28 people on Feb. 17, urging the government to take all necessary measures to avoid future incidents. 

“I can only say one thing: Turkey is not properly ruled,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters after visiting the families of the victims. “Turkey has turned into a bloodbath. We do not deserve this.” 

CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Özgür Özel also pointed to intelligence deficiencies. 

“In the heart of the country, in Ankara, if bombs explode in front of buses transporting military personnel, if the public rallies of political parties are unprotected, then it shows that the way this government is ruling this country - particularly its deficiency in collecting intelligence - should be immediately questioned,” Özel told reporters at a press conference. 

“Somebody should be held accountable for this incident. Will everyone continue to occupy their seats?” he said, stressing that it is the responsibility of the prime minister, the defense minister, and the interior minister to keep Turkey and its people safe. 

“This is about an intelligence deficiency rather than negligence shown by security institutions. If the attacker had been on foot, he would not have even been able to approach the buses,” fellow CHP MP and former military officer Dursun Çiçek said. 

‘MİT knew but failed to stop it’

Meanwhile, CHP Istanbul deputy Eren Erdem brandished a secret National Intelligence Organization (MİT) report warning about the potential of attacks from both the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) targeting military facilities. Issued on Jan 20, 2016 the report states that ISIL was planning attacks against military facilities, while a number of PYD members have already infiltrated into Turkey from Syria to stage attacks. 

“Why did the intelligence organization not take the necessary measures, despite issuing this report?” Erdem said. 

MHP: Security negligence 

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli also underlined the security and intelligence negligence in messages posted via his Twitter account. 

“What were security and intelligence units doing while bombs were exploding in the heart of Ankara, in the military headquarters? What are they doing?” Bahçeli asked. 

“How could an YPG villain arrive in Ankara without any interruption on the road? Did nobody see him?” he added.

MHP Deputy Chair Ümit Özdağ claimed that the attack was in fact an attempt to provoke Turkey into staging a military intervention into Syria, and called on all political leaders to act with caution. 

“There was no strategic or operational intelligence deficiency here, but rather pre-emptive police negligence. The security forces were notified about a potential bombing in Ankara but unfortunately no efficient measures were taken,” Özdağ told reporters.