Almost 100 Dead at an Ankara Peace Rally

Banners for the planned peace rally were used to cover victims' bodies Banners for the planned peace rally were used to cover victims' bodies EPA

10 October 2015
Two suicide bomb explosions have injured 187 people and killed over 95 people at an Ankara Peace Rally.

ANKARA, TURKEY-- On October 10, over 14,000 civilians gathered at a rally in Ankara to  protest peacefully against violence between the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) rebels and Turkish security forces. Two trade union confederations and civil society groups organized the start of the peace rally at a centralized location, near the Ankara train station.

As protesters were assembling, preparing and chanting, the first explosion suddenly went off. A few moments later, the second bomb detonated.

Serdar was working at a newspaper stand when the explosions occurred. He remembers trying to cover himself from a shattering window caused by the first explosion. “There was shouting and crying ... I could smell burnt flesh,” he explained.

Rally attendee Murat Tasdemir lost two of his friends as a result of the explosions. After the attack, Tasdemir along with other rally attendees had “to carry the dead and the injured to the ambulances.”

Media footage depicts the instant the first explosion occurred and the horrid scenes of the aftermath. Human Rights Watch expressed their condolences to those who lost loved ones as a result of this targeted attack on supporters of the Kurdish political movement.

Following the day of the attack, a rally took place in the capital of Turkey to mourn the loss of those killed in the suicide bombings. Although the rally was free of violence, Kaan Dinc (a union member who participated in the peace rally) does not believe that the peace will continue into the future.  Rather, he believes that many young people “have lost their faith in seeking democracy in a peaceful manner. If perpetrators continue to attack us, unfortunately, they will be met with violence in return.”

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