Election rallies are suspended in Turkey following bombing

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Election rallies are suspended in Turkey following bombing

A commemoration has been held outside the main railway station in Ankara in remembrance of the victims of Saturday’s suicide bombings.

Officially the number of dead is put at nearly 100, unofficially its as many as 128.

ISIL militants are being blamed but ahead of November elections there is also anger at the Turkish government. The ruling AK party has responded by modifying its electioneering.

AKP spokesperson Omer Celik made the following announcement:

“The AK Party has suspended its rallies. Our chairman and Prime Minister will not hold a rally until Friday. And the rallies after Friday will not be organised as electoral rallies but they will be rallies against terrorism, aiming to cement brotherhood and unity.”

Opponents of the government and in particular President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blame him for the attack accusing the state of intelligence failings and of stirring up nationalist, anti-Kurdish sentiment

The government, facing a growing Kurdish conflict at home and the spillover of a war in Syria, vehemently denies such accusations.

At the same time the leader of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) , Selahattin Demirtas said he is considering canceling election rallies. “ How can we hold rallies in such a sad atmosphere? We can take our own security measures….but the life of a person is more important than an electoral rallies.”

In predominantly Kurdish Diyarbakir there’s been more unrest. Saturday’s attack targeted a pro-Kurdish rally and tensions in the region remain high.

Tuesday day is the last official day of national mourning for the victims of what has been described as Turkey’s worst terrorist attack in decades.