Istanbul, Oct 13 () - Strikes, boycotts, marches and demonstrations were held around Turkey on Oct. 12 in protest against the Oct. 10 Ankara massacre that killed at least 97 people, with funerals of the victims being held one after another.
The mass demonstrations came as Turkey’s leading labor unions and professional organizations, namely the Confederation of Public Sector Trades’ Unions (KESK), the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), made calls for a nationwide strike and boycott for Oct. 12 and 13 in protest against the massacre at the Labor, Peace and Democracy Rally in Ankara on Oct. 10.
Employees at Istanbul’s Maltepe District Municipality, including Maltepe Mayor Ali Kılıç, went on a strike on Oct. 12, holding placards that read “we are in mourning, we are in protest, we are on strike,” and marched from the municipality building to Maltepe Square.
In Istanbul’s Fatih district, a ceremony was held outside the Istanbul University Medical School Hospital located in Fatih’s Çapa neighborhood on Oct. 12 to commemorate victims of the Ankara bombing, as medical staff and union members gathered outside at 10:04 a.m., the time when the twin blasts occurred in Ankara on Oct. 10.
In Istanbul’s Kağıthane district on Oct. 12, lawyers chanted slogans inside the courthouse in Kağıthane’s Çağlayan neighborhood in protest at the massacre.
College students in large numbers, including those from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Boğaziçi University, Marmara University, Koç University and Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, as well as Middle East Technical University in Ankara, boycotted their classes on Oct. 12 in protest.
In the southern province of Adana, members of the TMMOB, KESK, DİSK, the Adana Medical Association and several other unions and civil organizations marched to a main square in downtown Adana after gathering outside Adana Metropolitan Municipality in protest against the Ankara bombing.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Zülfikar İnönü Tümer and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Rıdvan Turan took part in the march, which ended at Adana’s Uğur Mumcu Square.
In Ankara, members of the TTB, DİSK, KESK and TMMOB hung a black wreath in front of the Ankara Train Station, which was the site of the massacre.
Speaking on behalf of several labor unions and organizations, Ankara Medical Association head Çetin Atasoy said they condemned the terrorist attack and expressed deep sorrow over the deadly attack.
“We are all in mourning. We’re on strike today and tomorrow all across Turkey,” Atasoy said Oct. 12.
Burial ceremonies are being held one by one as bodies of the victims of the Ankara bombings are sent to their hometowns, with many funerals becoming impromptu anti-government rallies with mourners and protesters repeatedly chanting “Murderer Erdoğan” and “The murderous state will pay.”
In the eastern province of Malatya, a mass burial ceremony was held on Oct. 12 for Gözde Aslan, Gülbahar Aydeniz, Sezen Vurmaz, Onur Tan and his cousin Umut Tan, and Mehmet Ali Kılıç, members of the CHP Malatya Youth Branch, which lost a total of 11 members in the massacre.
The presence of Parliamentary Speaker İsmet Yılmaz, a member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), infuriated the crowd, with mourners chanting “Murderers out.” While suspicion has fallen on jihadists for the twin bombings, most mourners believe the AKP government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are politically responsible for the massacre.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also attended the ceremony, expressing his condolences to the friends and family of the victims.
In a visit to CHP Youth Branch member Eren Akın’s family, Kılıçdaroğlu expressed his condolences.
One of dozens of funeral ceremonies being held for Ankara bombing victims was held for HDP parliamentary candidate Kübra Meltem Mollaoğlu on Oct. 12.
HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş attended the ceremony to express his condeolences to Mollaoğlu’s family and relatives. The ceremony was held in a tent set up in the Fikirtepe neighborhood in Kadıköy, on Istanbul’s Asian side.