Turkey commemorates 8-year anniversary of ISIS massacre in Ankara

Victims' families and politicians organized a commemoration on the eighth anniversary of the Ankara Train Station Massacre, Turkey's bloodiest attack in which 104 people were killed in a bomb attack by ISIS.

Duvar English

Families of the victims of the Ankara Train Station Massacre committed by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Oct. 10, 2015, and representatives of political parties held a commemoration in Turkey’s capital on the eight-year anniversary of the country’s bloodiest attack in which 104 people were killed in a bomb attack.

The radical Islamists targeted a rally gathered to march for peace ahead of national elections on Nov. 1. The victims were largely supporters of the Kurdish-oriented People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and other leftist organizations. 

Lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), opposition Green Left Party (YSP), Labour Party (EMEP), and Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) attended the commemoration where the attack took place. 

During the commemoration, participants marched to the Ankara Train Station, and at the exact moment of the massacre at 10:04, the names of the 104 victims who lost their lives in the attack were read aloud one by one.

İshak Kocabıyık, co-spokesperson of the October 10 Peace Association, made a statement and said that eight years ago two suicide bombers acted freely without anyone stopping them. 

He continued, "Imagine a state that remains silent against the massacre of its own people. Let alone remain silent; it paved the way for the murderers and pat them on the back. We have strived for the truth to be revealed during the trial process and for justice to be truly established. We are still doing so."

Kocabıyık also underscored that the Turkish authorities have undermined the prosecution process of the perpetrators.

The families complained about the government’s prevention on their plan’s to build a monument for their loved ones in the square and added, “We are here until this square becomes a Peace Square, until a monument is built in this square to remind us of this massacre.”

The Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions (KESK) co-chair Mehmet Bozgeyik also said, "The one-man regime is a partner in this crime by paving the way to ISIS. The public officials who allowed this massacre have not been brought to justice."

After the attack, it was revealed that a citizen filed a complained against the bombers after they had purchased materials from their shop to make the bomb. Even though the police identified the attackers, they did not take any action. 

The Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions (DİSK) chair Arzu Çerkezoğlu said, “What we went through in this square eight years ago was one of the cornerstones leading to the Turkey we are trying to live in today. What happened during the trial process, the fact that none of the real culprits were put on trial, reveals what this process is. Our promise to our fallen comrades is peace."

A Turkish court in 2016 filed a lawsuit against 36 defendant, yet most of the key figures could not be captured alive during operations.

After the bomb attack, the police arrived the scene before the medical teams and attacked the injured people with tear gas and water cannons. 

The crime scene was not guarded nor did the crime scene investigation teams and prosecutors arrive at the scene immediately. The teams arrived about 1.5 hours later and the deputy chief prosecutor arrived 2.5 hours later.

In 13 of the 18 months following the attack on the HDP's rally on June 5, 2015, there was at least one bomb attack with the loss of life across Turkey. Nearly 500 people were killed and thousands injured in the attacks. Either the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, or government officials said they were carried out by one of these organizations.