Ankara bomb attacks: Blood on Erdoğan’s hands

Over a hundred are dead and scores more seriously injured after a bomb attack on a peace rally in the Turkish capital, Ankara. We offer our condolences to the family, friends and comrades of those killed, and we stand in solidarity with all those demanding justice.

The rally, called by trade unions, was unarmed and peaceful. It sought to end the Turkish state’s war against the Kurdish people, which resumed in July when Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government ended the peace process.

The rally was joined by many from the Kurdish and Alevi communities, along with left organisations, including DSiP, an affiliate of the International Socialist Tendency, one of whose members was wounded in the attack.

Not only did Turkish police fail to provide security for the rally, once they arrived at the scene of the blast they attacked and gassed those trying to help the wounded.

It can be no coincidence that the bombs exploded at the site where members of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) were gathering. The HDP has united sections of the left with the Kurdish liberation movement and, in a historic breakthrough in June this year, passed the 10 percent threshold to needed to enter the Turkish parliament, winning 80 MPs. For this it has incurred the wrath of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

In the months leading up to the June general election there were 200 attacks on HDP events and offices, including a bomb attack on a pre-election rally that killed four people. The Turkish police did nothing to challenge this wave of violence or catch the culprits.

Since then, Erdoğan has intensified the climate of repression and intimidation surrounding the HDP. At a speech in August he denounced the HDP as a “terrorist organisation” that he planned to “teach a lesson” to. This same language has been taken up by a range of groups close to the AKP, as well as those linked to the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The Turkish state itself, as well as waging war on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has murdered Kurdish civilians. In September police laid siege to the town of Cizre on the Syrian border. Over 20 were killed in the town, including young children.

No wonder that the crowds in Ankara, and in cities across Europe, in the aftermath of the bombings chanted “Erdoğan—Killer”. We are clear: Erdoğan has blood on his hands.

Western leaders are colluding in the war on the Kurds and the Turkish left. Turkey remains a member of Nato, whose secretary general simply echoed Turkish government propaganda, describing the bombing as a “terrorist attack”.

The European Union, Britain and the US also persecute the PKK, which remains an outlawed organisation. They have stood by as Turkey has massacred Kurds fighting for their freedom.

The HDP has expressed its determination to continue the struggle. Two days of strikes have been called by unions who helped to organise the demonstration. The courage of the movement in the face of the intimidation and violence it has suffered is an inspiration to the left across the globe. We stand together with the solidarity movement unfolding internationally.

- Solidarity with the HDP; support the strikes.
- Victory to the Kurdish liberation struggle.
- No to the Turkish state’s persecution.
- Erdoğan must go.
- Free Öcalan.
- Lift the bans on the PKK.

The Coordination of the International Socialist Tendency
12 October 2015

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