Turkish police attack and detain demonstrators commemorating victims of Suruç massacre

On the seventh-year anniversary of the Suruç bombing, demonstrators across Turkey were attacked and detained brutally for demanding justice. The Istanbul Governor’s Office said that 106 were people detained in the city over their participation to the demonstration.

Families hold pictures of their loves ones during the ceremony in Istanbul's Kadıköy on July 20.

Duvar English

Turkish police on July 20 attacked ceremonies held across the country to commemorate the victims of a ISIS suicide bombing that took place in 2015 in the Suruç district of the southeastern Şanlıurfa province.

The ceremony in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district was held upon the call of the Suruç Families Initiative who vowed to continue their struggle for justice. Koray Türkay, who was among the injured in the Suruç bombing, held a statement on behalf of the group, listing their demands.

The statement urged the state to launch investigations against police officers suspected of neglecting their duties to stop the suicide bombing.

“Authorities should launch a lawsuit against police commanders whom the police officer Ahmet Oğuz Davarcı, found guilty due to neglect of duty, had previously pointed out to," the statement said.

"Authorities should explain why the police did not detain İlhami Bali [prior to the Suruç bombing] who had met officials of the intelligence organization MİT at a five-star hotel in Ankara during the time he was being sought with a red notice.” 

After the crowd attempted to march in Kadıköy, they were stopped by the police who formed a human blockade. Turkish media reported that several protestors were brutally detained. Later, the Istanbul Governor’s Office issued a statement saying that the number of detentions stood at 106.

Commemoration ceremonies also took place in the capital Ankara and the Aegean province of İzmir. But, they were similarly marked with police violence and detentions.

On July 20, 2015, an ISIS suicide bomber detonated explosives outside Suruç Municipality’s Amara Cultural Center as members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations prepared to travel to Kobane in Rojava to aid in the town’s reconstruction following its liberation from ISIS forces. The attack claimed the lives of 33 people.

The Justice for Suruç Platform, a group of lawyers and legal institutions involved in the case, says that government officials had prior knowledge of the attack but turned a blind eye to it. They demand a more extensive investigation into the incident amid reports of neglect and deficiencies on the part of several members of police and intelligence services.