Turkey declares national mourning after deadly terror attack

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announces three days of national mourning following terror attack which killed 95 people in Ankara

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu holds a press conference at the Cankaya prime ministerial residence after the emergency meeting which came following the terror attacks in Ankara.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced three days of national mourning in the country after a terror attack claimed the lives of 95 people in Turkey's capital city of Ankara early on Thursday.

Two explosions took place near the main train station in Ankara, close to an area where a “peace march” was set to begin. 

Davutoglu harshly condemned the terror attack and emphasised the necessity of a joint effort against terrorism, noting that he would meet with opposition party leaders again over the issue.

"This terror attack was aimed at the democracy and peace of our country, at our whole nation," he said following the emergency meeting in Ankara.

The prime minister added, "the perpetrators of this terror attack, along with the supporting terror organisations will be deservedly punished."

Davutoglu called an emergency meeting in his official residence with high level government officials including Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan, Interior Minister Selami Altinok, Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu, National Intelligence Agency Chief Hakan Fidan, National Police Head Celalettin Lekesiz, and Ankara Governor Mehmet Kiliclar.

'Strong indications that attack was suicide bombing'

"There are strong indications that the explosions were carried out by two suicide bombers," the Turkish prime minister said.

Davutoglu revealed that several potential suicide bombers have been caught over the last three days in Istanbul and Ankara and claimed that "a comprehensive terror threat targets Turkey."

The prime minister also condemned statements from Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) leader Selahattin Demirtas who accused the government of being responsible for the attacks.

He said, "upon the pains of our people, if his statements call for a civil war and incite the people against their state just as in events of 6-8 October in 2014 , this is an attitude which should be judged."

In the meantime, the officials of  main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) held a central executive board  meeting after the deadly terror attack in Ankara.

Following the meeting, a statement by the party said, "We are unconditionally ready to support any steps taken to eliminate terror and violence in the country."

The Turkish minister of health announced in a joint news conference that the two consecutive blasts in Ankara killed at least 95 people and injured 246.

The victims of the explosions were mostly people who had gathered outside the station for a demonstration to be held in nearby Sihhiye Square.

The Confederation of Public Sector Trades' Unions (KESK) organised the rally to call for an end to the renewed conflict between the outlawed PKK and Turkish state.

Meanwhile, Turkish Interior Minister Selami Altinok said that there was no security flaws concerning the Ankara peace demonstration.

He stated that the demonstration area was surrounded with safety lines and the security forces undertook necessary checks ahead of the rally.

TRTWorld and agencies