Victims of Ankara blasts demand compensation from Interior Ministry

The twin explosions that hit a rally of pro-Kurdish and leftist activists outside Ankara’s main train station on Oct. 10 killed 102 people and wounded more than 500.

Holding a press conference on Monday to inform the public about the legal proceedings recently launched by the families of the victims against the Interior Ministry, the Association of Lawyers for Democracy announced a joint complaint had been filed against the ministry in the name of the families of 19 victims and 89 people who were wounded who blame the government over the incident.

Speaking on behalf of the claimants, lawyer Ozcan Karakoc stated the government was aware the attacks would take place but did not do anything to prevent the attacks from taking place. Karakoc said the blasts in Ankara were mass killings that can be considered a “crime against humanity” under the Rome Statute and the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

“In order to prevent such crimes against humanity from taking place again, the government, who is directly responsible for the incident, must meet all of the losses of the victims. We will continue to apply to the Interior Ministry to demand that it pay compensation because of the government’s responsibility in the incident,” Karakoc stated.

Karakoc also said Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Interior Minister Selami Altınok, Ankara Governor Mehmet Kılıclar, Ankara Police Chief Kadri Kartal and former National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan should be involved in an ongoing investigation being conducted regarding the Oct. 10 bombings. The lawyer also said they had earlier filed a petition with the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office to request that it gather the records of conversations taking place between the officials, all written correspondence between state institutions and camera footage on the day the incident took place to determine whether the state officials or institutions were negligent in the incident.

The Oct. 10 attack, the worst of its kind on Turkish soil, sparked widespread criticism, with people accusing the authorities of negligence and security lapses. The leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) even called it an “attack by the state against its people,” but the government denies charges of negligence.

Prime Minister Davutoglu admitted following the attacks the authorities even had a list of potential suicide bombers but could not act against them because they could not arrest anyone without sufficient evidence in a country governed by the rule of law. The remarks, unsurprisingly, were slammed by critics who questioned why the authorities fell short in acting against potential suicide bombers while government critics were being arrested for social media posts based on a “reasonable suspicion” clause implemented less than a year ago.