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14 October

Never forget, never let others forget!

We are launching the #101015Ankara project as a mark of respect for those who were massacred while attending a rally to voice their desire for peace

By invoking violence and calculating that they can convert bloodshed into votes, Turkey’s political leaders are bringing terrible suffering upon the country and claiming countless lives.

Those who ignored the will of the public that was reflected in the polls of 7 June and who have stubbornly refused to renounce the language and methods of war in the run up to the elections on 1 November are responsible for the massacre that took place in Ankara on 10 October.

At the ballot box on 1 November, we believe that the public will settle the score with those who disregarded the blatant security failures at the Ankara rally, and who, despite being personally responsible for those failures, found fit it to smirk when asked if they would resign; with those who did not identify the perpetrators of the attacks in Diyarbakır and Suruç and who admitted that “we had a list of suicide bombers but there was nothing we could do,” as though hoping to overshadow this tragedy with an even bigger massacre.

We also believe that the time will come when those responsible will have to answer before the law for all the blood that has been shed since 7 June.

Today, Turkey is a country where the leader of a sanctioned criminal organisation, who declares that “rivers of blood will flow,” is held in high esteem; where reporting on those rivers of blood and calling those responsible to account is obstructed with media blackouts and confidentiality orders.

A large section of the media has become a one-sided propaganda machine. Censorship and self-censorship are no longer the exception but the rule. Magazines are seized from printing houses. A single order is enough to have television channels removed from a broadcasting platform. Tweets are used as justification for the arrest of a newspaper editor. The fabricated crime of “insulting the President”, a crime that has no place in the universal rules of law to which Turkey is also bound, is turned into a vehicle for silencing and suppressing criticism.

Fortunately, however, Turkey still has journalists who, despite everything, refuse to be silenced and who insist on their independence. You know who they are; even if they are censored by the mainstream media, you follow them on the Internet, on social media.

The existence of independent journalists has become even more crucial after the events of 10 October 2015. The Ankara Massacre is the bloodiest terrorist attack to have been carried out on these lands, lands that are sadly all too familiar with civilian deaths. The important duty of finding the true answers to the questions of who planned this attack, who sat back and watched while the attack was being planned, and who carried out the attack falls to independent journalists. Despite the media blackout and confidentiality order, we are duty-bound to question and to investigate. We will continue to question; we will continue to investigate.

Here at Punto24 we believe that we have a responsibility towards those whose lives were snatched from them on 10 October while attending a rally to voice their desire for peace. We must not, will not allow them to become nothing but a number, a mere statistic.

We have launched a project in which we will write the true life stories of each and every person whose lives were lost in the Ankara Massacre by talking to their friends and families, to ensure that they become a permanent part of our collective memory. The details of our #101015 Ankara ‘’Portraits of Peace’’ project are announced here (in Turkish.)

Our pain and anger runs deep. As we offer our respect to the memory of those who lost their lives at the Ankara Peace Rally on 10 October, we make a promise not to forget, to keep their memory alive, and to continue our work until peace prevails in these lands.

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