Iran Reports

IASWI strongly condemns Ankara Massacre

 Link to the original statement in Farsi – issued on October 13, 2015:


The world is in deep shock after the terrorist attack and bombing of peace demonstrators who had gathered in Ankara with demands for Labour, peace and democracy.

On 10th of October 2015, twin bombings in an Ankara peace rally left more than a hundred killed and a few hundred severely injured. This demonstration was called for by a coalition of trade unions, including KESK and DISK, and progressive parties including Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). One of the main demands of this demonstration was an end to the military campaign waged by the Turkish state against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) under the pretext of fighting terrorism which only targets the Kurdish population of south and south-eastern Turkey.

The bomb attacks and mass killing of demonstrators in Ankara caused a tremendous wave of sadness, disbelief and anger amongst the people in Turkey. Most people, trade unions and progressive political parties consider the Turkish government to be directly or indirectly responsible for this tragedy. Right after the attack tens of thousands of demonstrators in Turkey poured into the streets and chanting slogans against the government. Selahattin Demirtaş, co-leader of HDP, directly condemned Turkish officials and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In aftermath of this heinous crime, a coalition of Turkish trade unions and civic organizations including the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Sector Unions (KESK), the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers And Architects (TMMOB) andthe Turkish Medical Association (TTB), called for a General Strike which took place on Monday and Tuesday 12th and 13th of October 2015. According to reports many schools, colleges, government offices and factories were shut down as a result of this General Strike, with score of students taking to the streets accompanied with their teachers in demonstrations against the government.

Although this recent calamity in Ankara is yet the greatest tragedy of its kind to take place in Turkey, unfortunately it is not the only of its type. On July 20, 2015 more than 30 young socialists were massacred in Suruc suicide bombing where the youth had gathered to assist with the reconstruction efforts for the city of Kobani. Hundreds were also severely injured in that attack. Many progressive forces hold the government and the Turkish state responsible for that attack as well. In response to protests, the Turkish state attacked peaceful demonstrators, closed down a number of dissenting newspapers and initiated a military campaign against the Kurdish population in south and south-east of Turkey. 

Due to this militarization of the political atmosphere in Turkey in the past few months many nationalist-fascist Turkish currents were given opportunities to attack the offices and centers of progressive parties and formations.

Regardless to what extent the Turkish state is directly or indirectly involved in the Suruc and Ankara bombings, the fact remains that ever since the Gezi Park protests of May of 2013 and especially after losing its parliamentary majority in the June elections of this year the government of Erdogan is attempting to gain back its losses through establishing a militarized mood in the country to intimidate and suppress all opposition and carry out its reactionary neoliberal policies. The repression of workers’ rights and trade unions, suppression of all Leftist and progressive forces and parties, promotion and augmentation of male-chauvinism and imposing of strictures on women’s rights, further expansion of press censorship, reinforcing and stabilizing Islamic Pan-Turkism are all different components of Erdogan’s internal policy in Turkey.

These repressive policies are also continued on a regional level. Turkish state’s de facto cooperation with ISIS, al-Nusra Front, “Free Syrian Army” and its joint efforts with Imperialist interventionist forces in the region and reactionary regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar are all meant to promote and expand sphere of Turkish capitalist interests in the region. Turkish state is as much an enemy of the working class and people of the region as it is the enemy of the working class and oppressed people inside the country.

Various capitalist states in the region, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Turkey, Western Imperialist forces and different Islamic terrorist groups and networks, despite all the competitions, enmities and fighting against each other, have a common interest against the working class of the region and all its equality and freedom seeking movements. Keeping this fact in mind, regardless of who is directly responsible for the Suruc or Ankara bombings, all reactionary forces in the region will try to benefit from these massacres. In this context it is the task of the working class, socialists, and equality and freedom seeking organizations in the region and around the world to become more pro-active in solidarity with the struggles of the working class movement in Turkey.

We strongly condemn the vicious attack on peace demonstrators in Ankara and denounce the reactionary policies of the Turkish state. Our most heartfelt condolences goes to the victims, survivors and the families of this tragedy and also to all labour and Left organizations that had organized the event. We stand firmly in solidarity with working class struggles and progressive and anti-capitalist movements in Turkey.


International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

October 13, 2015

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