Turkey’s opposition condemns Ankara attack in unison, calls for solidarity

Turkey’s opposition condemns Ankara attack in unison, calls for solidarity

Turkey’s opposition condemns Ankara attack in unison, calls for solidarity

DHA Photos

All opposition parties represented in Turkey’s national assembly have condemned in unison the suicide car bomb attack which killed more than 36 people in Ankara on March 13, calling for solidarity in the face of attacks which they said targeted social peace.

The attack - the third to strike Ankara in five months - targeted a busy transport hub on March 13 close to the prime minister’s office and the parliament building. 

“As of this morning... we lost three more citizens in hospital,” Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu said on March 14. The body of one attacker had been found, he said, indicating that there might have been two.

The three opposition parties in parliament, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), released written statements late on March 13, strongly condemning the attack.

“The bomb attack against our civilians in the capital city of Turkey is a terror act which should be cursed with no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts,’” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said, emphasizing that the attack was aimed at “social peace and serenity.”

“However, I have full conviction that our nation, who has feelings of solidarity, unity and togetherness, will stand with resolve in front of the goal that is desired to be achieved [by terrorists],” he said.

The CHP leader reiterated his party’s will to assume “all kinds of political responsibilities” in the fight against terrorism.

The Kurdish problem-focused HDP, parliament’s third largest party, which both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government accuse of being an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), condemned what it described as a “savage attack” against civilians.

“We share this grand grief with all of our people,” the HDP’s Central Executive Board (MYK) said. “We state that all of these attacks against our people will not be able to estrange us from feelings of fraternity and condemn the attack once more in the strongest way,” the HDP said.

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli voiced resolve against terrorist acts, while also urging for “a thorough analysis” of the situation because the March 13 attack came only weeks after a similar attack in the capital city.

Bahçeli expressed confidence that light would be shed on the perpetrators and instigators of the attack, while also expressing his wish that this process would not be delayed.

“The government should not allow any weakness and negligence on this issue. Turkey’s national security is signaling a red alarm because our precious nation is openly under attack and is surrounded in a compact and categorical circle of enmity,” Bahçeli said.

“The occurrence of a new attack three weeks after the terror attack on Feb. 17 should be thoroughly interpreted and the desires and goals behind it should be deeply analyzed,” he said.

The March 13 attack was the third to strike Ankara in five months, in an area close to the prime minister’s office, the country’s parliament building and a number of foreign embassies, as Turkey grapples with twin security threats from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the outlawed PKK.

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a splinter group from the PKK, claimed the Feb. 17 attack, saying it was revenge for operations conducted by the Turkish military in the country’s southeast. Erdoğan and the Turkish government, however, have insisted that Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia were behind the attack, planned as a joint operation with the PKK.