In the wake of a deadly attack on a peace rally in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, thousands have gathered in the streets to show their support for the victims. The rally, which took place the day before, aimed at promoting unity among the Turks and Kurds. Two bomb blasts interrupted the event and decimated the crowd, killing 95 and wounding a further 250.
The attack, which is being called the single deadliest attack on the nation, came at a sensitive time. Just three weeks before the nation elections in Turkey, the already polarized Turkish society has been further destabilized. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutagoglu has declared three days of national mourning, and stresses that cooler heads will prevail in the search for the identity of the yet undetermined group behind the attack.
As people took to the street of Ankara today to mourn those killed in the attack, scuffles broke out when a group of opposition lawmakers clashed with police. Tear gas filled the air in an demonstration of the political tension that now grips the region.
Most of the victims were attending the rally were showing their support for the end of the conflicts between the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) and the Turkish government. Attacks on demonstrations of the same nature have happened before, most notably July, when an explosion at a demonstration for Kurds and Turks in the town of Suruc, near the Syrian border, killed 34. ISIS was believed to be behind that bombing, given there conflict with the Kurds in Iraq, however they never claimed responsibility.
The Turkish government has recentely aligned itself closer to the United States with respect to their stance on ISIS, giving the U.S access to missle launch sites at the Incirlik Air Base in the south of Turkey. This move put the Islamic State within firing range of American ordinance.
World leaders such as United States President Barrack Obama and Pope Francis have reached out to the Turkish people to display their condolences. For now, the Turkish government is working to identify the group responsible and bring them to justice, as the nation and the world grieves for those lost.