Turkish government complicit in Ankara blast, Demirtaş tells CNN
ISTANBULTurkish government is complicit in the Ankara blast for turning a blind eye to ISIL and failing to put appropriate security in place, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş told Fred Pleitgen on CNN International Oct. 12.
“They [the AKP government] turned a blind eye to ISIL growing in Syria and their existence; [their] presence is known within Turkey and they haven’t carried out arrests,” Demirtaş said.
He also criticized the authorities for the security weakness that made the attack possible.
“Ankara is a city where intelligence work is at its highest. And it seems there was no preventative work, no security arrangements in place,” he added.
When asked whether this allegation meant that ISIL has infiltrated Turkish security services, Demirtaş alleged it would not be possible for ISIL to carry out such terrorist attacks without support from “elements within the state.”
“The bombing in Diyarbakır was meant to kill hundreds of people. The person who placed the bomb had been caught and arrested shortly before the attack and then he was released by police officials. He later carried out the attack,” Demirtaş explained.
He also pointed out that not only was the assailant let go shortly before the attack but the officers responsible for his release were promoted.
“These kinds of events increases suspicion in the officials,” the HDP co-chair said.
Demirtaş said the ceasefire declaration of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) created an “environment of hope” and called on for the laying down of arms.
Following the interview, Pleitgen announced several Turkish government officials were asked to give an interview but none were available.
Turkish government officials have so far denied responsibility and security weakness in the double suicide bombings in Ankara that killed at least 97 people.
Deputy PM of the interim government Tuğrul Türkeş of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) claimed yesterday that “not taking safety precautions cannot be considered a security breach.”
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Selami Altınok, who on Oct. 10 denied any responsibility for the attack, said Oct. 12 that he “might” resign once the political climate calms down.
Click here to watch the interview on CNN International’s website.
Click here to read the transcript of the interview.