Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s repressive regime had motive and easy opportunity. We’ll likely never know for sure if he or his fascist cronies were responsible. Suspicions are warranted.
On Saturday, multiple deadly blasts rocked Ankara, targeting a Labor, Peace (and) Democracy rally, protesting Turkey’s war on Kurds – killing at least 95 people, injuring around 250 more, over 50 in intensive care with serious injuries. Some may not survive.
Nine policemen were slightly injured, none killed. The blasts apparently didn’t target them. Angry activists on the scene shouted “police murderers.” Security forces forcibly removed them.
The incident came three weeks before scheduled November 1 snap general elections, the composition of Turkey’s 26th parliament at stake.
Expect Erdogan to exploit Saturday’s incident, blaming Kurdish or ISIS terrorists, urging Turkish voters to support his real war on Kurds, phony one on ISIS.
He called for “solidarity and determination as the most meaningful response to terror” – a smokescreen deflecting attention from his own responsibility?
Will he, Washington and perhaps other rogue NATO partners try using the incident to counter Putin’s intervention in Syria? It’s hard imagining how.
Russian aircraft dominating Syrian airspace prevent US and other NATO member ones from entering a de facto Moscow-imposed no-fly zone easily expanded – to protect Syria from attacks on its territory.
It remains to be seen what Obama plans next. Erdogan is allied with his war on Syria, letting him use Turkey’s Incirlik airbase to bomb Syrian targets, not ISIS, providing support and safe haven for its fighters – wanting Assad ousted and Kurdish freedom fighters eliminated.
Russia’s escalating intervention greatly constrains US tactics. Russian drones and satellite surveillance monitor Syrian territory round-the-clock, able to intervene as needed against terrorist threats, targeting ISIS and other takfiri positions and facilities daily.
Washington has no way to challenge or stop Putin’s righteous mission – committed to defeat terrorism and protect Syrian sovereignty.
On Sunday, Reuters and other news services reported thousands rallied in Ankara near the Saturday blast site, many shouting anti-government slogans, mourning victims at the same time.
Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) leaders and members said police attacked them, some sustaining injuries.
Riot police with water cannon vehicles blocked a main highway used to reach parliament and other government buildings. Erdogan officials denied involvement in what happened. Many Ankara residents believe otherwise.
Shortly after Saturday’s attack, the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) announced a unilateral ceasefire ahead of November 1 general elections.
Erdogan spurned it, Reuters reporting “Turkish warplanes struck Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant targets in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey on Saturday and Sunday, pressing their military campaign a day after the rebel group ordered its fighters to halt attacks on Turkish soil.”
A senior Turkish security official told Reuters “(t)he PKK ceasefire means nothing to us. The operations will continue without a break.”
Hundreds were killed since Erdogan resumed attacking Turkish and Iraqi Kurds – along with Syrian ones on the phony pretext of fighting ISIS.
Separately, Turkey’s longstanding war on press freedom continues unabated. Today’s Zaman (TZ) is a prominent English language newspaper, Bulent Kenes its editor.
On Friday, Turkish authorities arrested him for critical tweets about Erdogan’s policy, TZ reported. He’s now in Metris Prison awaiting trial.
Colleagues chanted: “Free media cannot be silenced” as police arrested him. Erdogan targeted him earlier, launching six defamation investigations.
He’s charged with violating Turkish Penal Code, Article 29 stating: “Anyone who insults the president of the republic shall be imprisoned for a term of from one to four years. When the offense is committed in public, the sentence shall be increased by one sixth.”
Police states operate this way, Obama waging war on whistleblowers and mainstream dissent, wanting no interference with his criminal enterprise.
“In a note he wrote before being taken to prison that was later distributed on social media, Kenes underlined that his struggle against those who want to turn Turkey into an ‘open prison’ would continue ‘no matter the circumstances,” TZ reported.
The scourge of evil has many forms and allies. Defeating them will always remain a major challenge.