Thousands rally against President Erdogan as Turkey mourns deadliest attack

Flags flew at half-mast across Turkey on the first of three days of national mourning over the Sunday bombing.

Thousands rally against President Erdogan as Turkey mourns deadliest attack

Ankara: Thousands of mourners filled the streets of Ankara Sunday and vented their anger at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after 97 people were killed in the country's worst-ever terror attack, as the government raced to identify the two male suicide bombers it blamed for the bloodshed.

Flags flew at half-mast across Turkey on the first of three days of national mourning declared by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, as questions grew over who could have ordered Saturday's bombings on a peace rally in Ankara.

Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), one of the groups that had organised the rally, said it believes the death toll now stands at 128.

The attacks have raised tensions in Turkey just three weeks before snap elections are due on November 1 and as the military wages an offensive against Islamic State (IS) jihadists and Kurdish militants.

With the country on edge, Erdogan issued a statement condemning the "heinous" bombings and cancelled a planned visit to Turkmenistan but he has yet to speak in public since the attack that shocked the nation.

On Sunday, thousands of demonstrators thronged central Ankara's Sihhiye Square, close to the blast site by the city's main train station, to pay tribute to the victims.

Many of those gathered accused the government of failing to provide security at the ill-fated rally and several anti-government demonstrators shouted "Erdogan murderer" and "government resign!"

"I am a mother, I'm worried about my grandchildren, I am marching for our children, for our future. Each time there are people dead, I also die a little," said Zahide, who like many others carried a pink carnation flower to commemorate the victims.

The premier's office said 97 people were killed when the bombs exploded just after 10:00 am (0700 GMT) as leftist and pro-Kurdish activists assembled for the rally.

It said that 507 people were wounded, with 160 still in hospital and 65 in intensive care in 19 hospitals.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close