Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the government is continuing its investigation into the perpetrators behind the country’s deadliest terror attack and added that the State Audit Board (DDK) has been assigned by presidency to tackle the case comprehensively using a different approach.
Twin suicide bombings targeted a march organised by labor unions in Turkey’s capital, where the death toll stands at 97. Officials confirmed that the 317 out of the 508 injured were discharged from hospitals.
Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu announced that ISIS is the prime suspect behind the deadly bombing and said officials are close to identifying one of the suspects.
Speaking at a press conference with President of Finland Sauli Niinisto on Tuesday, Erdogan said “This painful incident which took place as our NGO’s gathered to exercise their democratic rights have deeply saddened us.”
Erdogan said those claiming that the "deep state" had a role in the bombing are “concealing themselves” and underlined that “the era of unidentified murders have ended in Turkey,” adding that the attack is being investigated meticulously and the attackers are going to be brought to justice.
Erdogan also said that “Once again, I strongly condemn this terror attack directed at Turkey’s unity, peace, stability and citizens."
“I want this to be known by the entire world and all of our citizens. This attack is against Turkey has targeted the entire nation along with its citizens,” added Erdogan.
Reminding that the terror attack is also a test facing the nation, Erdogan expressed his belief that the “test” would be overcome with the work of security forces and the wisdom of the nation.
The president criticized some politicians without giving names and said that they are pointing to election day even after such a painful event and using the attack for political gains.
“We witnessed the two-facedness of those who called for protests and to stop life in Turkey, not even waiting for funerals of those killed in the attack to be completed. We will not forget those who did not hold hands extended for unity and brotherhood. They must know their actions only serve terror and terrorist organizations,” Erdogan stated that peaceful approaches resolve issues through dialogue and are crucial for security and peace, boh of which have been fragile in the neighbouring region.
Underlining Turkey does not classify terrorist organizations depending on how they attribute themselves, what their names are, discourse adopted or the methods they use. He noted that those who fail to approach the issue as Turkey does and use double standards for terrorist organisations are “supporting terrorism.”
“As we do not discriminate between the deceased, we also do not discriminate between the killers and terrorist organisations. Terrorist organisations represent felonious immorality and misdeed to us,” Erdogan said, similar to comments he made in Brussels when he called on world leaders to unite against all forms of terrorism.
President added that, “I am obliged to indicate this is not the first time Turkey has encountered the devious and cruel methods of terror. As the state and the nation, we have been struggling with various terror organisations and their attacks.”
Noting that an Armenian terror organisation ASALA, had carried out terror attacks from 1973 to 1991, killing 42 Turkish diplomats. “Turkey has witnessed the attacks of many illegal organisations in the 1970s, where an number of citizens from all parts of society were victims.”
The president also informed that around 40,000 security officers, state personnel and civilians have lost their lives as a result of terror attacks carried out by the PKK terrorists since 1984. Turkish leftist outlawed militant group known as the, Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) - which has been active for around 21 years - has also been responsible for many attacks, including the murder of prominent businessman, Ozdemir Sabanci and prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz.
57 people were killed in a 2003 terror attack carried out by al Qaeda, using bomb-laden vehicles in Istanbul.
“Lastly, DAESH [ISIS] which emerged in Syria and Iraq, joined these terror groups who are attacking Turkey by carrying out attacks. PKK, DHKP-C and ISIS continue their existence as hateful terror organizations standing against us,” President Erdogan said.