Terror Attack Kills Dozens At Peace Rally In Turkey's Capital


On Saturday, at least 86 people were killed and 186 injured when two bombs went off at a peace rally near the main train station in Ankara, Turkey, The New York Times reports.

Some are reporting the death toll may be as high as 97.

#Turkey's pro-Kurdish HDP says death toll in Ankara bombing rises to 97 - @Reuters — Christian Thiels (@ThielsChristian) October 10, 2015

This is reportedly the deadliest terror attack in modern Turkey's history, and it happens to fall just several weeks before important elections. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has called for three days of mourning.

It's unclear who orchestrated the tragic incident, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said there's evidence two suicide bombers are responsible, BBC reports.

The blasts on Saturday occurred as Kurds and leftists gathered together to protest renewed fighting between Turkey and Kurdish militants. Turkey's government and the Kurds have been at odds for decades.

Those people in Turkey literally gave their lives for peace. — Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) October 10, 2015
Kurdish Peace Rally in Turkey turns tragic in a split second. — ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) October 10, 2015

Following the attack, the government shut down Twitter and Facebook in what appears to be an effort to censor media coverage, Independent reports.

Turkey has become increasingly unstable in recent months as it's resumed armed conflict with Kurdish militants, dealt with mass numbers of refugees flowing in and contended with the threat of ISIS.

Correspondingly, in July, a suicide bombing killed 32 Kurdish activists in Suruc in southeastern Turkey. The government blamed ISIS for the attack while the Kurds blamed the government.

The increasingly tumultuous situation in the surrounding region, induced by war in Syria and the rise of ISIS, allowed the Kurds (an ethnic group split across several countries) to gain more influence both in and out of Turkey. This resulted in heightened tensions between the Kurds and the Turkish government. It's a convoluted situation produced by an extremely complex, and often violent, history.

Given everything that's been happening, the Kurds are reportedly blaming the Turkish government for Saturday's attack. Some are even calling for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to resign, The Guardian reports.

Thus, it seems this devastating incident may only serve to create further instability in Turkey.

Citations: Explosions During Peace Rally in Ankara Turkeys Capital Kill at Least 86 (The New York Times), Turkeys Pro Kurdish HDP Says Death Toll in Ankara Bombing Rises to 97 (The New York Times), Suicide Bomber in Suruc Is Said to Be a Turk With Possible Ties to ISIS (The New York Times), Ankara explosions leave more than 80 dead officials (BBC), Ankara terror attack Turkey censors media coverage of bombings as Twitter and Facebook blocked (Independent), Turkey hit by protests over government response to suicide bombings (The Guardian)