The Massacre of Ankara: Eye-Witness Account& Analyses

Selbstmordanschlag in Ankara am 10. Oktober 2015

In Turkey, an attack on a demonstration for peace killed over a hundred people. An eye-witness account by Alp Kayserilioglu

At 10:00 o'clock my comrade, colleague and friend Max Zirngast and I are sitting in a cab on our way to the peace demonstration, which starts at Ankara central station. Once again, we are running late due to my fault. Thousands of people and dozens of our comrades from different parts of turkey are already there. Max, once again, is furious because of me being late. Meanwhile I, guilty but strong as ever, am chatting away with the cab driver, who seems to be a nice person.


But this time, my notorious tardiness saved our lives. As soon as we get out of the cab and run to the square in front of the main station in order to join the ranks of the demonstration, a bomb explodes right at the spot where we would have been, had we have been on time.

I first notice a 10-20 meters tall blast of fire and a thundering bass, thinking that somehow we all of a sudden find ourselves in a movie, that this is not quite real. I do not really grasp what is going on. In my head the bomb attacks in Diyarbakır on July 7st right before the elections and in Suruc on July 20st are repeating like a movie. I fail to connect the demonstration in Ankara with such an attack. Looking at Max, I realise that he, too, has big questionmarks instead of eyes: is that... was that... a bomb? Ankara, now, too? No. Really?

As people around us start to become increasingly angry and aggressive, to shout and curse at the top of their lungs, we slowly take it in: yes, that was a massive bomb. The first reaction that sets in is – since I did not hear the second bomb, but know that in such attacks very often multiple bombs are set – that I start starring wildly at my surroundings, looking for possible assailants or bags with bombs in them. As if I would be able to tell.

Max, the others and I retreat to the bridge on the northern site, which leads to the main connecting road. We see how comrades, especially the ones of the Halkevleri, stop traffic and only let ambulances pass, but there are suspiciously few of these.

It is mainly cabs who take away the first wounded.

Bit by bit, sporadically, ambulances come in. Later we compare our observations with other eye-witness accounts, which confirm our impression. The medical association later claims that ambulances could get to the crime scene only slowly. But riot cops in full combat gear, together with water cannons and armored vehicles are there rather quickly and before the majority of ambulances can reach the square. Nevertheless, even they come only a striking 10 -15 minutes after the explosion.

Before they arrive only some little patrol cars are helplessly cruising the area, being smashed by the demonstrators, as they should. Also in this regard various eye-witnesses give similar reports. One source claims that on the square, where the bomb went off, there has been no police and only few police cars, all of them empty anyway.

That can hardly be coincidential Be this as it may, I tell Max, that I am sure the square is safe now: where there are cops, no bomb will explode, because cops do not show up where their bosses send canon fodder to carry out suicide attacks.

The AKP are disgusting and shameless enough to ask after every bomb attack: „How come there haven't been any HDP Congressmen amongst the dead? Isn't that suspicious?“ Apart from the fact that, sadly, there have been HDP candidates for congress amongst the dead (one of which, Kübra from Istanbul, I got to know during the campaign for the last elections), this question should be turned around: „Not one dead cop, not one dead undercover cop? Why is there not a single injured cop amongst over 500 wounded? Isn't that suspicious?“

Anyway. What happened instead of a third bomb blast was a police intervention on the south side of the square – including lots and lots of tear gas. Yes, you are not mistaken: this happened while hundreds of dead and wounded still lay on the ground and hardly any ambulances were present yet.

All of this has been well documented on video.


In inferno

Max and I are slowly walking back to the spot of the explosions. We finally were able to call our comrades, whom as if by miracle remained unharmed, even though some of them have been standing close to the explosions. One comrade told us dozens of wounded and dead are still lying around, and they are busy helping transporting them. We want to join them to offer our help, too.

(from here on the text becomes very graphic, please only continue if you can stomach such depictions)

First of all, only to get to the square was hard. Riot cops blocked access at random, closing some, leaving some open. We finally make it. On the square there is chaos, sirens, honking, wounded are being transported, angry people are attacking the cops. What we see is horrible: constantly Max keeps warning me: „Careful!“, because I am about to step on a severed finger, a fragment of skin, a piece of brain, parts of a head, tufts of hair, non identifiable intestines or puddles of blood. Many people are crying, some are shouting, some bodies are being wrapped in flags. Everywhere there is the stench of blood and death. I'm getting increasingly dizzy; i tell Max to not look at the floor.

Still we are of no big use and wander aimlessly. We see many ambulances, but no more wounded. All of a sudden we are at the spot the second bomb exploded. The whole place is one big puddle of blood with pieces of bodies in it. I can see about a dozen corpses wrapped in flags. The stench is unbearable, I start choking and hold my nose shut.

The next paramedics we run into – whom we finally can ask what we can do to help, since we slowly gain back control over ourselves – tell us that all the wounded have been removed and we should rather go donate blood.

While on our way to leave the square we see the bomb squad. The speaker bus announces that there could be more bombs on the grounds and therefore the area has to bee evacuated. But the announcement somehow seems grotesque and almost no one seems to take notice.

Bombs, Massacre, War – The AKP and Power

We go to several hospitals, but they do not need our blood. They need negative, we both have positive blood type. Thus we decide to go home. Dozens of comrades are in our apartment, waiting for their buses back to all different parts of Turkey. Even though the living room is absolutely overcrowded, there is dead silence. I still can not really believe no one got hurt.

For most of them this is due to pure coincidence: a comrade from Samsun - a gentle giant who is always vivid and merry, even as he is telling the story of how he survived just by accident – tells us that right before the blast they had had to move 20 meters to the side due to some argument concerning the order of the blocks in the demonstration. This saved their lives. Another comrade from Ankara left the crowd to make a phone call. The comrades from Hatay were standing only 50 meters away from the explosion. The shrapnel the bomb sent flying off in all directions had immediately killed their two comrades of the Halkevleri from Ankara, with whom they had come from Antakya and were standing right next to them. Several of our comrades stayed with the corpses on the square, helping in the transport.

One of them says that they had had to wait for five full hours until the bodies of the comrades of the Halkevleri were being taken by the ambulances. Another comrade was in front of the main entry and tells us how she saw pieces of brain mass flying through the air after the second explosion.

Anyway, Max and I slowly awake from our trance and get behind our computers and smartphones. We quickly gain an overview of the dimension and purpose of the attack, before we go join a demonstration in Tuzluçayır, a district of Ankara.

As time goes by the number of deaths rises dramatically. Untill midnight the HDP crisis center announced 128 dead and over 500 wounded. The culprits' identity – almost certainly two suicide bombers – remains unknown. In any case, the “Islamic State” has allready sent their congratulations. And also other scum did not remain silent and made it understood what hits is all about: AKP secretary Eroğlu claimed all of this would be a part of the HDP's electoral campaign, they want to appear as victims and win votes, “just like in the Diyarbakır bombing”.

Following this logic, eeeer.... , the HDP has bombed themselves and the rest.

The mayor of Ankara, AKP, took a stance 13 hours after the attack and claimed that it is to “a 100%” sure the PKK ist behind this and that it would “be difficult now for the HDP to reach the [10%] electoral threshold”. So in this logic, the PKK has bombed the HDP, because..... oh, who cares!

Meanwhile a video of the infamous assassin and mafia boss Sedat Perker appeared – once arrested by the AKP because of allegedly being loyal to the military, he had been released from prison after the “argument” between preacher Fetullah Gülen and the AKP and now is, coincidentaly, one of the party's biggest fans – in which he talks to AKP followers in an event in Rize which took place just a day before the attacks in Ankara. In this video he says that “blood will flow by the liter”.

But the absolute higlight is the nauseating duo consisting of Sultan Erdoğan and his apprentice Vezir (formally also known as prime minister) Davutoğlu: over a hundred dead civilians right in the center of the republic did not prevent Erdoğan from releasing a written statement that went more or less like this: “This attack wasn't much worse than those which hit our soldiers; the biggest support for terrorists is the usage of double standard vis-à-vis terrorism.” His apprentice followed swiftly by declaring a three-day national mourning – for “all” citizens, soldiers, policemen and such, who have become victims of “terrorism”. Once again, this handfull of dead was used to talk of “terrorism” in a general manner in order to propagate the “unity and brotherhood of the nation”.

So whomever does not participate in this grotesque “unity” and “brotherhood” or concerns oneself with the case at hand, which did not happen in a combat situation but has been a bomb attack on a civilian demonstration, whomever does this, following this logic, supports “terrorism” and thus has become a traitor of the fatherland.

From now on it's: “Fear for your life, if you don't dig the AKP”...

So: without bombs, one can not hold on to power anymore. At least if “one” is the AKP. That is what they already did before the elections of June 7st: almost 200 attacks on HDP offices were carried out back then, and shortly before the elections a bomb exploded on a big rally in Diyarbakır. Five people died, dozens were injured, some of them badly. But the AKP could not win. The HDP got 13,2% of the vote, moved into the parliament and destroyed the dream of a presidential dictatorship which Erdoğan and his friends had been dreaming.

Those uttered their anger quite openly: The people had chosen chaos (well-known AKP member Burhan Kuzu), it had been warned to not vote for the HDP (vice prime minister Yalçın Akdoğan, AKP). Erdoğan demanded 550 “national and native” parliamentarians for a new parliament and, inşallah, God willing, finally a total majority for the AKP again and a presidential system, since the lack of the latter is what had let to chaos in the first place (AKP minister of health Müezzinoğlu).

The attack in Suruç on July 20st, in which 32 activists who wanted to help in reconstructing Kobane were assassinated, was used as “additional convincing argument”, just like the large scale war against the PKK that followed, which was allegedly a war against “terrorsim as such”. Now and so far the highlight of this “argumentation” is the attack in the capital Ankara. Now applies to all of Turkey, not only Kurdistan: Whomever raises his voice against AKP can not be sure of his life and his physical integrity anymore.


...or: “Down with AKP”

So now the probably last step of escalation before the declaration of the state of emergency in all of Turkey has been reached, before extensive special power for the executive will be granted, before – let us face it – an overall fascist coup concerning the use of repressive means in order to stay in power.


Even though the PKK has been trying to de-escalate for a couple of days by declaring a ceasefire on the morning of the day of the attacks in Ankara (but which probably had been decided on earlier) in order to ensure peace and security for the elections, the Turkish side seems to not care. They actually are annoyed by less war (as can be seen in the vice prime minister Yalçın Akdoğan's (AKP) statement that he “has had enough” of all the PKK cease fire declarations, which are “only tactical” anyway).

And should it really become appearent that the results of the elections will not change much compared to those of June 7st – which is highly unlikely – we have to be prepared for many new monstrosities the AKP and the turkish state will unleash on the country.

If a possible altered level of repression can be successfull will be decided by the capability of the democratic and socialist forces to offer political resistance here in Turkey. The biggest political and in fact also moral mistake now is to still pretend that „normal“ elections in a „normal“ parliamentarian-democratic procedure can be expected, in a situation in which a party that has been deselected when it comes to its' total majority still rules in a half-dictatorial way and nonchalantly accepts hundreds of dead and thousands of wounded. Such a perspective would give undue credit to the AKP butchers by treating them like a normal, civil and democratic party that it has ceased to be a long time ago.

Tens of thousands in the Istiklal in Istanbul and many thousands in diverse districts of many cities both in Turkey and internaionally marched against state terror as a reaction to the massacre of Ankara and thus set a sign of resistance.

We, who were lucky enough to survive the attack of Ankara, have the moral obligation to make the regime and their henchmen fall and to ensure they will be held responsible for their deeds.

We owe this to the dead and wounded. We also owe this to a possible perspective of peace.


The German original of this text appeared first here: