Erdogan Under Fire After Worst Bombing Ever

Erdogan Under Fire After Worst Bombing EverErdogan Under Fire After Worst Bombing Ever

Political opponents and thousands of angry protesters expressed anger on Sunday at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after Turkey’s worst-ever terrorist attacks and as the country hurtled toward a bitterly divisive election.

The streets of the capital Ankara filled with anti-government and pro-Kurdish protesters accusing the president of responsibility for the blasts that ripped through a peace rally there on Sunday, with several shouting, “Erdogan murderer!” and “Government resign!”

Around 10,000 people marched in Istanbul, blaming the government for failing to protect citizens at the ill-fated event a day earlier, carrying placards reading “The state is a killer” and “We know the murderers”, AFP reported.

The opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) says 128 people were killed when the bombs exploded on Saturday morning as leftist and pro-Kurdish activists assembled by Ankara’s main train station.

That figure was higher than the 97 people the prime minister’s office said died when the twin bombs struck.

As tributes poured in from world leaders, HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas was cited as saying, “State attacked the people. Condolences recipient should be the people, not Erdogan” on the party’s Twitter account.

The government, which has denied any responsibility in the incident, is attempting to identify the two male suicide bombers it blamed for the bloodshed.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said groups, including Islamic State group, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the far-left groups, were capable of carrying out such an attack.

“Work is continuing to identify the corpses of the two male terrorists who carried out the suicide bombings”, his office said Sunday.