Rally organizer claims told by inspectors not to involve gov’t in deadly Ankara attack

A member of the organizing committee of a rally hit by Turkeyand’s deadliest terrorist attack has claimed that he was covertly told by inspectors looking into the massacre not to meddle with the issue by pointing to government responsibility, a daily said on Thursday.
According to the report in the Cumhuriyet daily, which is based on what ilhan Yiiit, the member in question, said, the inspectors started to protest when in his statement he pointed to the governmentand’s responsibility in the twin bombings in Ankara last month.
Noting that they have carefully been looking into the issue, the inspectors reportedly told Yiiit that the investigation would also serve to legally protect him as an organizer.
According to the report, Yiiit, who is a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), took this remark to mean, and”Donand’t meddle too much [in this incident], or we will make you look guilty.and”
It has been officially announced that in the bombings that occurred in the heart of the capital on Oct. 10, 102 people were killed. More than 500 were injured in the attack and several of them are still in intensive care.
Following Turkeyand’s worst ever terrorist attack, the government has been harshly criticized for its huge failure in security and intelligence.
The rally in Ankara was organized by various nongovernmental organizations such as KESK, the Confederation of Revolutionary Workersand’ Unions (DiSK), the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architectsand’ Chambers (TMMOB) and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB).
When Yiiit drew attention to the governmentand’s responsibility in the attack, the inspectors reportedly tried to remove such remarks from his statement arguing that the prime minister had nothing to do with the bombing.
According to the report, the inspectors told Yiiit: and”We might not take your statement if we so wish. But you are accusing us and the institution.and” In his statement to the inspectors, Yiiit also reportedly said the organizing committee had asked, in a meeting before the rally, the Ankara Police Department for tight security measures to be taken by the police at the spot of the incident.
According to Yiiit, all the demands of the committee related to security were accepted by the police in the meeting at the police headquarters. and”An official report was prepared, but we signed the report without reading it,and” Yiiit said in his statement.
The scene of the incident — the area in front of the main Ankara train station — is the place where people were scheduled to gather before marching to another location to hold a peace rally.
KESK Secretary-General Hasan Toprak said in his statement that there were no police officers around on the day of the incident who should normally accompany the marching group to the location of the rally.
In remarks to the daily, Yiiit said the Ankara Governorand’s Office said in its statement related to the rally that security measures would be in place between noon and 4 p.m., although the organizing committee had said that the gathering and the rally would be between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
According to Yiiit, the inspectors may use the hours indicated in the official statement of the governorand’s office to relieve those in charge of security of any responsibility in the bombings.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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