Attack in Ankara: The search for the culprits

Turkish investigators are working on the assumption that the Ankara attack was carried out by two suicide bombers belonging to the terrorist Islamic State organisation, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Monday. No one should be surprised at the presence of jihadists in Turkey, some commentators write. Others fear more acts of violence before the election on the basis that they could help the ruling AKP to win.

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Il Sole 24 Ore (IT) /

From protective wall to powder keg

It's hypocritical of the West to feign amazement that the IS was behind the Ankara attack, the liberal business daily Il Sole 24 Ore complains: "All of a sudden we discover that the Islamic extremism that has destroyed Syria and Iraq has taken root in Turkey. Yet for four years now the newspapers and television have been reporting on the heavy traffic of anti-Assad fighters on the 'jihadists' motorway' from the Turkish province of Hatay to Syria. The West was not only an observer but a silent accomplice. A Nato member for 60 years and a candidate for EU membership for decades, Turkey is the West's protective wall and has imported all the problems of the Middle East. In line with the wishes of President Erdoğan, it has become a host country for the Islamic jihad."

Ethnos (GR) /

Erdoğan's bid for freedom

The attack in Ankara shows the extent to which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has manoeuvred himself into a corner in foreign policy and domestic policy, writes the centre-left daily To Ethnos: "In order to achieve an absolute majority Erdoğan has declared total war on the Kurds and is using anti-democratic practices like the persecution of journalists. At the same time Turkey seems completely isolated in Syria, while the US is leaving the 'moderate' dissidents in the lurch and Putin is talking to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The way the EU, Nato, the US, Saudi Arabia and the emirates are keeping their distance is a sign of Erdoğan's isolation: there is no place and no role for Turkey in any of the potential compromise scenarios for Syria. If Erdoğan is waging a war against the PKK to prevent the HDP from becoming the fourth party in parliament, one has to ask what else will happen after Saturday's attack as the election on November 1 draws closer and closer."

Hürriyet Daily News (TR) /

A Turkish classic

The attack in Ankara follows in a long tradition of similar atrocities, the liberal English-language Hürriyet Daily News points out: "It is a Turkish classic in the sense that whenever Turkey's politics entered murky waters it experienced a deadly incident, whether that be an attack attempting to harm as many people as possible or assassinations of prominent figures. It is a Turkish classic in the sense that some people (and not just the pro-Kurdish opposition party but also ordinary people) who suspect the state's - in other words the Justice and Development Party government's - involvement in the bombing. So the long forgotten 'deep state' is back on the agenda again, creating a sense of déjà vu. It is a Turkish classic because the atrocity said 'I am coming.' Ever since Turkey opened its İncirlik airbase to coalition forces fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), it was obvious that the whole country would turn into a target for that deadly organization."

Diário de Notícias (PT) /

EU must stop keeping Turkey on tenterhooks

Both the EU and the Turkish president are to blame for the terrible state Turkey is in, writes journalist Leonídio Paulo Ferreira in the centre-right daily Diário de Notícias: "People are saying that Turkey is going through 'dark times' right now. They point fingers at President Erdoğan, saying he is to blame, and that's true to a certain extent. … But the EU must also examine its own part in the debacle. It has left this old candidate for membership waiting outside the door for too long. This not only disappointed Erdoğan (and prompted him to change his geopolitical priorities) it also frustrated the 'Western' section of the population. … For Europe it is of great significance that Turkey remains a success story, a blooming democracy in a Muslim country. We should therefore finally recognise and acknowledge the Western destiny of this nation."