Death toll in Turkey blasts rises to 97


Turkey is close to identifying one of the two suspects in Saturday’s twin blasts in Ankara that killed at least 97 people, prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday.

DNA tests are being carried out on the remains of the suicide bombers, Xinhua quoted Davutoglu as saying.

The attack was an attempt to influence the outcome of the snap election on 1 November, Davutoglu said, adding necessary steps will be taken to further enhance security.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack which targeted a peace rally in Ankara.

Lawyer Uygar Coskun’s funeral in Ankara on Monday. He leaves behind a wife and a young child.

The BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen said that over thousands of people attended the funeral of victim Uygar Cosgun on Monday, and shouted anti-government slogans.

Protests have been going on in Ankara, following the bombing on Sunday.

The funerals of many more victims were taking place on Monday.

Saturday’s twin explosions rocked a road junction at the centre of the main railway station in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Many victims were the activists of the pro-Kurdish HDP party, which says it is now considering cancelling all election rallies.

The twin-blast attack is the most deadly one in Turkey’s history.

The situation was very tense in the country even before the Ankara bombings. The ceasefire with the PKK had broken down and there had been clashes between the militants and security forces that killed at least 150 lives since July.

The PKK unilaterally on Saturday declared a new ceasefire. However, this was rejected by the Turkish government, which carried out cross-border air strikes on PKK positions in southern Turkey and Iraq on Sunday.

Among the victims who have lost their lives are Elif Kanlioglu, 20, a student of second year, who loved studying foreign languages, Yilmaz Elmascan, a peace-loving man, who got married last year, Sebnem Yurtman, studied at Ankara university and later in Adana, and Mesut Mak, who was a member of an agriculture and forestry union.

The victims (clockwise from top left): Elif Kanlioglu, Yilmaz Elmascan, Sebnem Yurtman, and Mesut Mak.