From the TUC

Violence in Turkey’s Capital

13 Oct 2015, By

The violence in Ankara on Saturday marks yet another step in Turkey’s descent into the mayhem that engulfs many of her neighbours. It would seem that there were two suicide bombers responsible for the resulting deaths of at least 128 people and the injury to a further 200. Who is behind the attack is unclear, although there are many accusations flying about. I will not repeat them here although it is interesting no group has claimed the atrocity!

It is a sad irony that the target of these bombings was a peace rally organised by a number of leftist groups, the pro-Kurdish peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and our sister trade union confederations, DISK and KESK. The demonstration was calling for an end to the escalating violence between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers party (PKK)

After nearly 30 years of violence a peace deal had been all but worked out between the government and the PKK. There are many within Turkey and among outside political commentators that saw the recent military attacks in the Kurdish region as nothing more than a cynical strategy by President Erdogan. It is argued that Erdogan is creating political instability hoping that the electorate will turn to him as Turkey’s ‘strongman’ to re-establish order.

Whoever was behind the blasts certainly many Turks blame Erdogan’s AKP for fanning the fires of violence in Turkey. They also blame the government for failing to protect the marchers. Indeed, not only did the security forces fail to protect the marchers they as ITUC General Secretary mentions in her statement even attacked demonstrators after the blasts with tear-gas.

The TUC has written to KESK and DISK to express our condolences and solidarity with all of those demonstrators who marched for peace only to be met with bloody violence.