Bombings In Turkey: Ankara Bomb Probe

Published: October 14, 2015

Bombings In Turkey: Ankara Bomb Probe, The Turkish interior ministry said Wednesday it had removed the Ankara police, intelligence and security chiefs from their posts in an effort to help the investigation into Saturday’s bombings that killed 97 people.

The twin suicide bombings targeting a rally of pro-Kurdish activists and civic groups sparked anger from government opponents who condemn it for failing to prevent the worst attack of its kind on Turkish soil. Others accuse the government of complicity.

“In order to run a healthy investigation into the abominable terrorist attack … and in line with the requests from chief civil and police inspectors, Ankara’s provincial police chief, intelligence department chief and security department chiefs have been removed from duty,” a statement on the ministry’s website said late on Tuesday.

The statement did not say if the officials would to return to their posts after the investigation.

The announcement came hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted that there had been an intelligence failure which he said would be probed in investigations.

Meanwhile, Turkish officials said police had detained two people who posted tweets suggesting there could be a bomb attack in the capital Ankara a day before the twin suicides bombings. A government official said the two suspects had ties to the Kurdish rebels engaged in renewed fighting with Turkey’s security forces. Saturday’s rally had been organized to call an end to the fighting.

The two suspects allegedly posted tweets that said: “The bomb will explode in Ankara” and “What if (the Islamic State group) explodes (a bomb) in Ankara?”

The two suicide bombings came just weeks before Turkey’s Nov. 1 election, which is effectively a re-run of an inconclusive June election. The bombings raised fears that Turkey – a member of NATO, a candidate for European Union membership, a neighbor of war-torn Syria and the host for more refugees than any other nation – may be heading toward a period of instability.

On Tuesday, protesters in trade union-organized rallies were not permitted by the Istanbul governorship to march to Beyazit Square on security concerns. At Sirkeci train station the protesters held a sit-in at which lawmakers made speeches, while at Cerapasa Hospital there were tensions with police blocking people from marching.

The possibility that a group known to the authorities carried out Saturday’s attack has heaped pressure on the government, already under fire from opponents for failing to give more transparent information on its investigations into bombings in Diyarbakir and Suruc earlier this year.

Four people were killed in the bombing of a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) rally in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir on the eve of June elections. In July, a suicide bombing blamed on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Suruc near the Syrian border killed 33 mostly young pro-Kurdish activists.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said ISIL was the main focus of the investigation and on Tuesday Erdogan said the country had intelligence suggesting that fighters “originating” from Syria were planning to carry out attacks in Turkey, adding that no groups were being ruled out in the investigation.

“There is certain intelligence about some preparations that were made by (terrorists) entering our country and carrying out various acts – and that they originated from Syria,” Erdogan said.


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