After the massacre in Suruç

July 22, 2015

Activists in Turkey are mourning the death of at least 32 people, killed in a July 20 suicide bomb attack in the Kurdish town of Suruç on a gathering of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF, by its initials in Turkish). Suruç lies on the Turkish side of the Turkey-Syria border from the city of Kobanê. The bombing, which also injured more than 100, was reportedly carried out by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) against SGDF activists who were preparing to cross the border to help with the reconstruction of Kobanê.

In response to the attack, the statement below was issued by Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chairs of the People's Democratic Party (HDP), a pro-Kurdish party that has long pointed out the hypocrisy of the Turkish government, which itself has targeted Kurds and border towns during a decades-long civil war.

WE CONDEMN the inhuman, shameful attack that occurred in Suruç today. We wish God to have mercy on all our friends who died in the attack, and we extend our condolences to our people and to the relatives and wish patience to them. We wish a speedy recovery to our wounded friends as well.

Today, we have witnessed once again what a savage and rapacious army that has lost the dignity of humanity is able to do. For Turkey's revolutionaries, who were on their way in order to act with solidarity with Kobanê, to be targeted just after the anniversary of Rojava Revolution [which defeated ISIS forces attempting to capture the Kurdish city in northern Syria] shows that this attack is an effort to break the international solidarity around Kobanê. This attack is a message to the brave people who are clamped together with the spirit of revolutionary solidarity to give up their solidarity.

All countries and regimes that ISIS has received support from are the partners to this barbarism. Those who keep silent and do not even dare to raise their voice against ISIS; governors in Ankara who are threatening the HDP every day and embracing ISIS are the accomplices of this barbarism.

The slaughter of youth activists in Suruç was captured on video
The slaughter of youth activists in Suruç was captured on video

We, as the HDP, want all of Turkish society to know clearly the following: We are determined to realize our principles of democracy, justice and peace. We will continue to advocate these principles under any conditions. In order to implement these principles, it is time to stand side by side and be in greater solidarity against ISIS and like-minded mentalities. It is the solidarity of the people, rather than slippery policies of the government, which will stop this rapacious army. We call on everyone from Edirne to Hakkari to come together against ISIS and its offshoots, against those who advocate the mentality of ISIS and represent it in Turkey, and against those who foster ISIS--either by direct support or by remaining silent.

The provisional government is obliged to fulfill any responsibility to take measures in order to protect our citizens' security of life and property. The government implementing so-called security measures by stacking tens of thousands of soldiers at the border against the [pro-Kurdish Democratic Union Party of Syria] must give a political account regarding those who were capable of carrying out the bombing in Suruç. The current government is responsible for all kinds of intelligence and security vulnerabilities.

However, our people, our political institutions, civil society organizations, municipalities, and social structures such as vocational organizations should develop their own security measures. At all our party buildings and collective gathering places, there should be special security measures. We must develop measures to prevent such blithe and blatant attacks of ISIS against our people and institutions. We want to express that we are ready to become partners with all political parties, movements and groups who want to stand together against the Suruç massacre in a spirit of solidarity for peace, democracy and justice in Turkey--and those who want to discuss what can be done together against these kind of attacks.

Once again, we wish God to have mercy on our fallen comrades, and offer our condolences to their families and our peoples.

First published at the People's Democratic Party website.

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