Over thirty people have died, and over seventy are injured, in a bomb attack in Suruç, turkey, on the turkish-syrian border accross from Kobane. The target was a gathering of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) meeting at the Amara Cultural Center, before setting off to Kobane, to aid in the reconstruction of the city, now liberated from ISIL occupation. We have little sympathy for conspiracy theories, but as suspicions for the massacre fall upon an ISIL suicide bomber, it is difficult not to exclude altogether at least indirect (if not direct) responsibility to the AKP government in Ankara. Erdogan and the AKP have not only tacitly supported ISIL, in its war against the kurdish PYD in Syria, but have also armed them directly. (Reuters 21/05/2015) For the turkish government, kurdish autonomy in syria, and an autonomy that is experimenting with forms of radical self-government, is a far greater threat than islamic fascist fundamentalists, for the experiment may become contagious. The recent success of the leftist, originally kurdish based party, the HDP (People’s Democratic Party) in the country’s parliamentary elections, the still resonant events of the Gezi Park protests, and so on, may have pushed more extremist elements in the AKP to intervene more radically in events, attacking the socialist youth gathering. And as protests erupted in various cities throughout the country, the authorities could only respond with violence.
All of this is said without evidence. Suspicion however is animated by the turkish state’s implication in the syrian war and its history of violent repression of turkey’s minority groups and the left.
AKP-backed ISIL group massacres at least 30 in southeastern Turkey
At least 30 people were killed and 76 more were injured after a suspected member of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) staged a suicide bombing against members of a socialist youth federation as they prepared to travel to Kobane to help in the city’s reconstruction.
The blast targeted members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) at around 13.00 local time at the Amara Cultural Center in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa’s Suruç district, which lies directly across from Kobane in Rojava.
The attack prompted protests around Turkey, with demonstrators taking to the streets to denounce the latest atrocity by ISIL, as well as the collaboration and aid that the militant jihadist organization has long received from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Thousands of protesters rallied on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue, shouting slogans such as “Murderous ISIL, collaborator AKP” and “Kurdistan will be the grave of fascism.” Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Turkish police displayed a customary lack of restraint in shooting tear gas, water cannon and plastic bullets at demonstrators.
Other protests were staged in Ankara, Çanakkale, Izmir, Antalya, Kocaeli and elsewhere.
The blast at the Amara Cultural Center, a site run by municipal authorities from the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) in Suruç, killed 20 people at the scene, while others from the youth group succumbed to their wounds in hospital. Another 20 people were reported to be in life-threatening condition.
The SGDF had planned a five-day excursion to Kobane, which gained international fame after it successfully repulsed a months-long ISIL onslaught, to help rebuild the city, create children’s parks, open a museum to honor the resistance and distribute children’s toys.
In the wake of the massacre, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who infamously refused to classify ISIL as terrorists, declaring instead that they emerged as an “angry reaction” to events in Turkey’s southern neighbors, said an investigation was under way into the attack.
HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, meanwhile, noted that it was time for Kurds to take their own security measures given the recurring ISIL attacks against Kurds and the party in the run-up to the June 7 elections. “The most important issue is for our people to ensure their security. All our provincial and district offices must take their own security measures.”
The attack was designed to scuttle internationalist solidarity between Kurds and others, HDP MP Sirri Süreyya Önder said, while adding that the perpetrators would not succeed in their aims.
“The massacre that occurred today in Suruç was aimed directly at this sense of [internationalist] solidarity. What they don’t know is this: the sense of solidarity is not something that can be hindered with the policies of fear, intimidation and destruction,” he said.
STATEMENT ON THE RECENT MASSACRE IN SURUC, TURKEY
BLACK ROSE ANARCHIST FEDERATION / FEDERACION ANARQUISTA ROSA NEGRA (USA)
Today we mourn the loss of friends and comrades and renewing our commitment to an international revolutionary struggle in their memory.
At noon, in the border town of Suruç in Turkish Kurdistan, a bomb ripped through the bodies of communists, socialists, and anarchists who were on their way to assist in the rebuilding of Kobane. Tens of people were killed, many more injured. One Black Rose member was present assisting in preparations for a campaign to support the rebuilding of Kobane and Rojava, but was uninjured in the blast.
A half an hour after the bombing, the city of Suruc shook once more as a second massive bomb hit the border in Kobane. News reports indicate that this was a car bomb attack that was stopped by self-defense forces which minimized causalties.
The trip to Kobane was organized by the Marxist-Leninist organization Sosyalist Gençlik Dernekleri Federasyonunun (SGDF). They brought together youth–entire families–from across Turkey and beyond to give revolutionary support to the developing social revolution in Syrian Kurdistan. Up to 300 people were preparing to cross the embargoed border to help rebuild the city, learn about its political developments, and link the struggles of the Turkish left with the Kurdish movement.
After the bombing, the first to respond was armored military vehicles of the occupying Turkish state that rolled down the street in front of the Amara Cultural Center to block the street and point their guns at the recently injured and trauma-ridden revolutionaries. It took ambulances so long to arrive on the scene that private cars had to be organized to take the injured to the hospital. The military and police were on the scene in minutes, managing to form a line of riot police before the first ambulances arrived. Their alertness should come as no surprise since they had been actively harassing the bus loads of revolutionaries coming to Suruc that morning, monitoring many of them, and had made calls to their families telling them that their young relative was going to join terrorists in Rojava.
This demonstrates the attitude of the state and is indicative of a sad reality: Turkey is continuing its murderous policy towards the Kurds and this attack can be seen as a fulfillment of Erdogan’s promise to stop Rojava by any means necessary. In the coming months, Black Rose will continue to broaden the scope in organizing committees and networks in solidarity with Rojava. We hope for your support.
Biji Rojava! Rojava Lives!