HDP does not sign anti-terror declaration

HDP, predominantly pro-Kurdish party which is linked to the PKK, refuses to sign joint declaration with other parliamentary parties condemning Sunday's terror attack in Ankara

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Demonstrators hold carnations and pictures of victims of Sunday's suicide bomb attack during a silent protest in Ankara, Turkey, March 15, 2016.

Updated Mar 16, 2016

HDP, predominantly pro-Kurdish party which is linked to the PKK, has refused to sign a joint statement issued by parliamentary parties condemning Sunday’s car bomb attack in the capital Ankara, which killed 37 people.

The declaration signed by the ruling AK Party, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) described the attack as an attempt to "create weariness and pessimism and to harm the sense of shared future."

The blast in the Kizilay district, a central transport hub in the capital with a major metro station and dozens of bus stops, was the third to hit the city in the last five months.

"Those who were killed were our sons and their sorrow is ours as much as their families, relatives and loved ones," the statement, signed by AK Party Acting Chairman Naci Bostanci, CHP Acting Chairman Levent Gok and the MHP’s Acting Chairman Oktay Vural, said.

"There were historical aims behind this attack that targeted the unity of Turkish people and Turkey’s integrity."

"Terror with its bloody attacks aims to create weariness and pessimism and to harm the sense of shared future."

"It is a source of consolation to see Turkey’s people, who sealed their destiny through determination and will and overcame every problem through solidarity, resolution and courage in our long history, foil the aim of terror."

It added that "everybody and every institution share responsibility for establishing peace and tranquility in our country."

HDP group deputy chairpersons Caglar Demirel and Idris Baluken said in a press briefing following the declaration that the party had refused to sign it, claiming the statement was a "fascist indicator" that the AK Party was trying to "exculpate" themselves for failing to stop the attack.

"The parliament is the place to solve problems. To confine oneself to releasing a declaration after attacks is not an answer to problems," they added.

Relatives and friends pray during a funeral ceremony for victims of Sunday's suicide bomb attack, in Ankara, Turkey, March 15, 2016.

The HDP also refused to sign a joint statement condemning a previous terror attack in Ankara which took place in February, killing 28 people and wounding 61 others.

February's attack was claimed by TAK, a group affiliated with the PKK terrorist group. Although no one has yet claimed responsibility for Sunday's bombing, the Turkish government identified the assailant as having links with the PKK.

The PKK is considered to be a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and the US and has killed over 300 security forces and civilians since unilaterally ending a two-year ceasefire with Turkey last summer.

TRTWorld, AA