Grief and anger after Ankara attack
Three weeks before snap elections an attack on a peace rally in Ankara that claimed at least 97 lives has escalated the political crisis in Turkey. Some commentators suspect a conspiracy by the ruling AK Party aimed at securing an absolute majority in the election. Others hold Europe partially responsible for the political chaos in Turkey.
Attack meant to give AKP an absolute majority
Selahattin Demirtaş, the head of the pro-Kurdish party HDP, has blamed the Turkish government for the attack in Ankara. That's plausible enough, the centre-left daily Delo believes: "It's hard to shake the feeling that the Turkish regime is doing all it can to spread the fear of terrorism. In this way the high nomenclature is seeking to win back voter allegiance and secure itself an absolute majority. Turkey has overcome numerous crises in its history. In the 70s the violence almost tore the country apart. The 90s marked the climax of the war against the Kurds. Later it turned out that lurking behind all the crises was a dark secret service network operating on orders from above. Now peace is once more being threatened in Turkey. And who is again spreading chaos and violence? The Kurdish opposition says it knows the answer."
Europe needs a policy for Turkey
The events in Turkey affect the EU directly, which is why it should do more to help the country, the liberal daily Le Temps argues after the devastating attacks in Ankara: "The continent has left Turkey - which is unable to cope with the arrival of over two million Syrians - in the lurch. Fed up with seeing them disembark on Greece's beaches, Europe wants to get Turkey to take them back and keep them there. In exchange: peanuts! Such a fool's bargain is unacceptable for Ankara. On the one hand Europe would like the Kurds to form the front line against the jihadists, but on the other it has abandoned them. Just as it abandoned the journalists and human rights activists who sounded the alarm. Europe is completely bogged down in contradictions, short-term policies and paralysis. Nevertheless what's happening in Turkey concerns us first and foremost, and will have repercussions here at home. What we need, therefore, is a policy for Turkey that's worthy of the name."
Turkey heading for civil war
Turkey is closer than ever to civil war after the Ankara bombings, the liberal daily Sme fears: "Erdoğan is concentrating enough power in his hands. He has the security forces safely on his side. Only the last elections stopped him on his path to omnipotence, and they are to be repeated on November 1. The Kurds, however, who see the chance to create their own state from the Syrian and Iraqi chaos, are considerably stronger now. With the support of the West they are successfully battling the IS. The West needs both sides against the IS, the Kurds and the Turks. It can't afford to lose an ally and doesn't know who to side with. … All this could unleash a civil war. And what can trigger it more easily than an attack right in the capital?"
Government shirking responsibility
Turkey's Interior Minister Selami Altınok announced on Saturday after the attack in Ankara that there had been no gaps in security measures and that he refused to resign. The Kemalist daily Cumhuriyet shakes its head in disbelief: "No matter where in the world such an event takes place, members of the government are held accountable. But in this country holding the government accountable for anything at all is practically a criminal offence. The next thing you know the murdered victims will be declared the culprits, but heaven forbid that a single official should bear the blame. It's almost as if the incident had been declared a natural disaster, and the deaths a fateful consequence of taking part in a demonstration. But as much as it loves to gloat over its own accomplishments, for some reason our state isn't responsible for anything that happens. ... Such audacity is unparalleled."