Urgent Call for Action Following the Ankara Massacre
We, concerned people from Turkey studying and working across UK universities, condemn the allegedly suicide bomber attacks of 10 October in Ankara, that took the lives of over 100 people and injured more than 450 according to a report issued by Turkish Medical Association. We invite all to sign and circulate this petition as well as taking further political action.
We would like to express our deepest sorrow for the losses and our sympathies with the families and friends of the deceased and injured. While we’re typing these words, the numbers are increasing and we can only hope that such acts will never be repeated.
This horrific attack, aimed at the people who gathered at the Ankara train station for a peace rally, has been unprecedented in the history of Turkey in its destructiveness. Nevertheless, it is the fifth massacre experienced in Turkey in the last five years.
On 28 December 2011, 34 villagers were killed in the Roboski Massacre in Uludere, Sirnak.
On 11 May 2013, 54 people were killed in Reyhanli, a Turkish district bordering Syria.
On 5 June 2015, 4 Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) supporters were killed and 400 more were injured at a rally in Diyarbakir.
On 20 July 2015, 33 young socialists were killed in Suruc.
The failure of the Turkish state to protect its citizens’ right to life and bodily integrity, investigate these massacres, bring the perpetrators into justice in all four occasions has paved the way to the unbearable loss we experienced on 10 October 2015. We are worried that these violent events will continue as long as the necessary measures are not taken.
The news about the police forces not taking any security measures, attacking the injured after the explosion, preventing the first aid staff to reach the site of the explosion as well as the fact that a person convicted for leadership of organised crime has led a rally the day before the explosion and claimed “there will be bloodshed” in reference to the recently resurrected war in southeast Turkey deepens our worries. While the inaptness of the Turkish state and the political actors involved in its day to day governance to protect a peaceful demonstration in the centre of its capital city raises concerns about their capacity to provide for their citizens, these news shed further shadow on their legitimacy.
We are also worried about the escalation of violence, human rights abuse and ‘the state of exceptions’ becoming the norm especially in the southeast of Turkey. This provides a breeding ground for terrorism and creates a context where peaceful and democratic political processes are seriously harmed.
We ask the Turkish Government and the Turkish Parliament to take all necessary measures to investigate these violent crimes and establish peace immediately.
We ask the authorities to stop its irresponsible attitude in the face of this violence targeting particular social groups and suppressing the unified demand for peace voiced in Turkey.
We ask the European political leaders to realise dangers involved in the direction of political instability towards which Turkey is headed and how it will impact the international community. We hope short-term gains in keeping their collaborative attitude with the current illegitimate government will not shadow their judgment of the long-term consequences such as an exacerbated migrant crisis.
We ask the peoples of Europe to stand in solidarity with the people in Turkey and demand their politicians to take an ethical position towards recent human rights and legal violations in Turkey.
We believe that it is time for all of us to take an ethical stance and get into action mobilizing our capacities as political subjects to reverse the tide of destruction before it is too late.
Didem Derya Özdemir Kaya, PhD Student, WBS, University of Warwick
Nese Ceren Tosun, PhD Student, University of Warwick
Erol Saglam, PhD Student, Birkbeck, University of London
Duygu Karatas, Doctoral Researcher and Associate Fellow, University of Westminster
Dr. Sevinc Bermek, PhD, University of Warwick
Gizem Tongo, D.Phil, University of Oxford
Sila Demirors, PhD student, SOAS, University of London
Birgul Yilmaz, PhD Candidate, SOAS, University of London
Setenay Dilek, Phd Student and Researcher, University of Westminster
Dr. Bahar Baser, Research Fellow, Coventry University
Serap Saritas, PhD Student, SOAS, University of London
Dr. Umit Cetin, Lecturer, University of Westminster
Ezgi Unsal, PhD Student, SOAS, University of London
Vedia Can, Doctoral Researcher, University of Westminster
Idil Akinci, PhD researcher, University of Sussex School of Global Studies
Deniz Sozen, PhD Researcher and Associate Fellow, University of Westminster
Erdem Colak, MA Student in Political Science, University of Birmingham
Demet Gulcicek, PhD Student, Sociology, University of Warwick
Ugur Efem, Dphil Student, University of Oxford
Dr. Ozlem Arikan, Assistant Professor, WBS, University of Warwick
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