Global Independent Analytics
Miray Aslan
Miray Aslan

Location: Turkey

Specialization: Media, Politics

WHO IS BEHIND THE ANKARA EXPLOSION?

The suicide bomber from Ankara was just a 24 years old young boy. Did he know who was he dying for?

Dozens of military personnel and some civilians killed and injured after a car bomb rocked the Turkish capital of Ankara, Feb. 17. The blast occurred a near the military headquarters, parliament and government buildings in the administrative heart of Turkey. The car bomb reportedly targets military personnel when it stopped at a set of traffic lights.  27 members of the Turkish Armed Forces and one civilian died and 61 wounded.

No group has said so far it was behind the attacks. However just hours after the attack,  Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu explained: "In light of the information we have obtained, it has been clearly identified that this attack was carried out by the members of a terrorist organization inside Turkey, together with a YPG individual who had crossed from Syria." Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they had been supported by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey. Turkish warplanes bombed PKK camps in northern Iraq late aftermath of the attack.

The day after Davutoglu has announced:

"A Syrian national, identified as 1992-born Salih Necer,   with links to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) was identified as the perpetrator of the attack; the attacker received assistance from outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants in Turkey."  Both PKK and YPG deny involvement. Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD ) chief Salih Muslim replied to Davutoglu's accusations "PYD has nothing to do with the Ankara explosion. The Turkish government fabricates accusations against the Kurds in Syria for finding a pretext to legitimize their intervention." MMeanwhile,co-leader of the KCK (PKK umbrella group), Cemil Bayık as quoted by the Firat news agency was saying "we did not know who was responsible for the Ankara bombing. But the attack,  could be an answer to massacres in Kurdistan." He was “referring to the final military operations by the Turkish army in pro-Kurdish cities like Sırnak and Diyarbakır," Firat said.

The AK Party is approving a text condemning the terrorist attacks, the Republican and nationalist parties while the pro-Kurdish party The People’s Democratic Party( HDP) has refused to sign. "We strongly condemn the inhumane terrorist attacks directed at our unity, peace and security" the statement read. The statement also noted that terror will never reach its goals and that Turkey will never submit to terrorism.  Idris Baluken, Group Deputy Chairman of HDP, said his party has objections to the context of the text. "We (as HDP) also condemn the attack causing civilian casualties. However, we indicated other attacks were missing [from the condemnation], such as those that occurred in Diyarbakır, Suruç, Ankara and Sultanahmet, and the casualties that occurred during the curfew" Baluken said.

RISING NUMBER OF ATTACK

It has been the second suicide bomb attack in Ankara in 4 months. Moreover, many deadly attacks took place in Turkey in the last months. The number of attacks continues to rise.

June 2015, Diyarbakır Rally Bombings, the bombing took place two says before June 2015 general elections during a rally of the pro-Kurdish HDP's rally, 4 killed, more than a hundred injured. HDP held ISIL responsible while PM Davutoglu termed it a "provocation."

July  2015, Suruc bombing, a suicide bomber killed 33, more than a hundred were wounded. The bombing took place in the Suruc district of Sanliurfa, while university-ages students were celebrating their arrival to Suruc, and were planning a trip to reconstruct Kobani, the Kurdish city in Syria which was under siege. ISIL claimed responsibility.

August 2015, Istanbul bomb explosion, seven people, including five police officers, were injured as a result of a bomb explosion at a police station in Istanbul.

The Istanbul governor’s office said that the PKK is responsible.

October 2015,  Igdır- Hakkari bomb attack, 14 police in Igdır Province were killed in bomb attacks by PKK. Two days later 16 Turkish soldiers were killed in twin roadside bomb attack in Hakkari Province.

October 2015, Ankara Rally bombing, tho suicide bombers targeted a peace rally in Ankara, 103 killed, hundreds wounded. That was the deadliest of its kind in Turkey. No organization claimed responsibility. However, it was suspected there were links between suicide bombers and the Islamic state.

December 2015, Istanbul, a parcel bomb planted near a metro station injured five people. No group claims responsibility. Again on December, a cleaner killed in an attic in Istanbul's second airport Sabiha Gokcen. It was stated that the bombing was a response to the government's military actions against PKK.

January 2016,  Istanbul Bombing, a Syrian suicide bomber who was affiliated with ISIS killed ten people, including German tourists.

February 2016, Ankara Bombing, finally this month besides the Ankara bombing, the day after, a bomb attack hit a military convoy in Diyarbakır and seven soldiers died.

"SOMEONE CALL THE TURKISH INTELLIGENCE SERVICE"                

Similar to Diyarbakır, Suruc and  Ankara rally bombings, just after Ankara car bombing, a publication ban has declared by the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK ), besides the fact that social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been slowed down.  The community is angry with the government that the government neither took responsibility nor precautions. One of the Twitter users has twitted " someone call the Turkish Intelligence Service that there is a bomb attack in the heart of the country.” Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT) is known to have 8,000 personnel inside and outside of Turkey.  So, did MIT not know about the blast in the heart of Turkish capital Ankara or any of the blasts in last 12 months? Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)  openly blamed the Turkish state and the government for conducting the previous attacks and took part in the Diyarbakır and Ankara rallies. PKK and YPG had denied Davutoglu’s accusation which he expressed a few hours after the attack. ISIL is another suspected group,  even Russia and Assad regime are said to have a finger in the blast. However why did none of these groups take responsibility while terrorist attacks are the way of giving a message to whom who may concern? How the government can easily accuse pro-Kurdish groups, just after the bomb attack, even as they  deny?

Thinking of the Reichstag fire, which is a turning point in the history of Germans. In 1933, the Reichstag Building, which housed the German Parliament was gutted by a massive fire. A young Dutch council Communist was arrested and executed for the crime and was presented as proof that communists were planning to overthrow the German government. Fearful that a civil war was soon to break out, German citizens allowed Hitler extra-constitutional power to deal with the perceived threat. This would also set in motion an ethnic and religious scapegoating which the Nazi Party would use to further institutionalize its nationalist and genocidal campaigns. I wonder if  the young Dutch, Van der Lubbe, ever really knew for what he would be executed for?

By the way, do you think the Ankara suicide bomberm 1992-born young  Salih Necer, has ever really known for what he  killed and for whom he died?

Special thanks to Joshua Tartakovsky, for his contributions to  this article. 

EXPERT OPINION

Miray Aslan

Two days after the Ankara attack, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK)  claimed responsibility by issuing a statement.  "On February 17 in the evening a suicide attack was carried out by a sacrificed warrior on a military convoy of the fascist Turkish Republic in Ankara... The attack was realized by the Immortal Battalion of the TAK," the statement read.

TAK  carried out its first attacks in mid-2004. There is a substantial debate on the composition and affiliations of the group. Turkey  argues that TAK is a front for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK ) and led by Bahoz Erdal, the Kurdish commander of PKK. However, there are important differences between the PKK and the TAK. While the PKK mainly attacked military and political target, the TAK has deliberately attacked Turkish and foreign civilians. Besides, in an interview made in 2011,  the spokesperson of PKK Roj Welat, has strongly refused to associate with TAK, saying: "it is true that some of the members of TAK separated from PKK. However, we are totally independent groups, neither we nor they have any effect on each other." PKK has condemned some attacks TAK carried out against civilians. Moreover, TAK says that they are totally independent from PKK and criticizes PKK for being too humanist against the Turkish fascist regime.

The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) said the bombing was in response to the policies of President Tayyip Erdogan . TAK said the bomber was a 26-year old Turkish national born in the eastern city of Van. Turkey denies TAK's claim and says the attack was carried out by a member of the YPG, which is supported by the US in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Syria. 

Fighting Kurdish rebels, Islamic extremists, launching state terror on Kurdish cities and  the Deep State's dark activities – make Turkey unsafe each passing day. It is a hard time for Turkey from the point of a failed foreign policy, failed interior policy, decreased trade and tourism, plummeting economy, lack of freedom, pressures on democracy, increased corruption and so on and so on… Instead of getting involved in Syria's internal affairs, Turkish policy makers should spend their energy on their own internal problems. Instead of denouncing Syrian President Bashar al Assad as a "cruel dictator," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan should realize that his own dictatorship is harming his own peoples and country…. 

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