The unhealed wounds of Ankara's darkest day
by Esra Ciftci
The Ankara Train Gar Massacre of 2015 isn't just a testament to the violence that struck the heart of Turkey but also an epitome of the unyielding spirit of its people, who, despite the years, continue to seek justice and remembrance for the lost souls. On that fateful day, two suicide bombers detonated their explosive vests amidst a peace rally near the Ankara Railway Station, snuffing out 103 lives and injuring hundreds. It wasn't just an attack on the people but a piercing blow to the soul of a nation that still grapples with the aftermath.
As we mark the eighth anniversary of the tragic event that claimed 103 innocent lives, the haunting memories of the Ankara Train Station massacre perpetrated by ISIS through a suicide bomb attack on October 10, 2015, are as vivid as ever. Mehtap Sakinci, President of the October 10 Peace Association, founded in the aftermath of the gruesome event, is one of those touched indelibly by the tragedy. She lost her husband, lawyer Uygar Cosgun, in the disastrous blast. Speaking to Arti Gercek on this sad anniversary, Sakinci amplifies her persistent call for justice again.
"We will fight to ensure that this massacre is not forgotten until true justice is achieved," asserts Sakinci. Her poignant words echo the sentiments of many who feel the tremors of the massacre, an unhealed wound in the heart of a nation.
She focuses on the cryptic statement of Ahmet Davutoglu, who, during his tenure as Prime Minister, noted, "If I speak, the ground will shake." Sakinci expresses disappointment at Davutoglu's retreat from these words, highlighting the apparent betrayal of victims' families and the public.
"The passage of time explains the abstinence of politicians of the time to reckon with the truth. Their silence is a painful testament to our agonizing journey towards justice," Sakinci adds.
According to Sakinci, the trial processes are symbolic, offering no resolution or justice for the victims and their families. The echo of justice is silenced in the vicious circle of bureaucratic and political bottlenecks. The absence of substantive progress despite the unveiling of evidential records further amplifies the victims' families' desperation.
The political insinuations surrounding the massacre do not escape Sakinci's acute observation. She underscores the inherently political nature of the killings. "All massacres are political," she declares, linking the October 10 catastrophe to the intricate weave of political machinations.
Recounting the traumatic loss of her husband, Sakinci reveals the depths of pain the massacre has ingrained in the lives of victims' families. Cosgun was not just a statistic in the massacre; he was a loving husband, a doting father, a dedicated lawyer, and a man in the prime of his life.
"October 10 was not just the day we lost our loved ones; it was the day we lost our humanity," says Sakinci, reflecting the irreversible damage inflicted upon hundreds of lives that fateful day.
The Ankara Train Station Massacre is imprinted in the annals of history, not just as a terrorist act but as a manifestation of the insidious political undercurrents permeating the Turkish political landscape. As Sakinci poignantly concludes, "The biggest civilian massacre in the Republic's history of Turkey refuses to be relegated to the foggy memories of yesterday. It stands as a haunting reminder, a call to justice, echoing the resilience of spirits broken but undefeated."