By Murat Yetkin
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu revealed on Oct. 12 that the government was considering the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as the “first suspect” of theAnkara twin bombings on Oct. 10 which claimed at least 97 lives so far according to official figures with reports of a rising toll.
In a live interview with Turkey’s private NTV, Davutoğlu also said that the identity of one of the two suicide bombers was about to become clear and that could point out an “organizational link,” without elaborating which organization.
İdris Emen from Hürriyet’s website reported on Oct. 12 that, according to security sources, one of the suicide bombers could be Yunus Emre Alagöz. He is the brother of Şeyh Abdurrahman Alagöz, who was the suicide bomber of the Suruç attack on July 20 this year in which 34 people were killed. The government held ISIL responsible for the Suruç attack, and responded by air force and artillery attacks on ISIL targets in Syria after July 23 when a Turkish soldier was killed by fire from ISIL positions in Syria. It triggered Turkey’s opening up of its strategic İncirlik air base for the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL.
The Alagöz brothers were considered to have been recruited by ISIL as they frequented the “Islam Tea House” in Turkey’s southern town of Adıyaman. At some stage the teahouse was understood as working as a major ISIL recruitment center before being closed by local authorities for lacking license documents.
Another person who had frequented the same tea house was Orhan Gönder, the one who was arrested by the police for committing the bomb attack on June 5 this year as a crowd gathered for a rally of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the southeast town of Diyarbakır, killing four people, only two days before the June 7 elections.
Emen reported that the group was known among Islamist circles as “Dokumacılar,” most probably because of suspected ISIL recruiter Mustafa Dokumacı. The Alagöz brothers allegedly went to Syria to join ISIL in Tel Abyad, right across from the Turkish border town of Akçakale, after the Islam teahouse was closed down.
They were all put in a list of 16 “missing in relation with terrorism” by the police. It is worth nothing that, despite being on the list, Gönder underwent an identity search by the Diyarbakır police in the hotel room he was staying in but could not be spotted. Gönder’s mother, Hatice Gönder, said she had filed complaints to Turkish security officials numerous times about her worries that his son could be deceived and recruited by ISIL.
Two other names on that list were reportedly Hüseyin Peri and Mahmut Gazi Tatar, again from Adıyaman and recruited via the Islam teahouse. Those two are reportedly arrested by the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) of Syria during their capture of Tel Abyad, the PYD being the sister organization of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey.
Now having those facts it is hard to understand why the courts have “limited” the access of the victim’s lawyers to the investigation files of the Ankara bombings after limitations on the investigation and indictment files of the Diyarbakır and Suruç bombings. It is also worth asking why no contact has been established with the PYD so far in order to either question or claim back those two ISIL suspect Turkish citizens in order to learn ISIL’s future attack plans. Or if this was done before, could the Ankara bombings have been avoided, assuming that PM Davutoğlu’s suspicions about ISIL were right?
Russian Ria Novosti reported on Oct. 12 that the anti-terror police found a trigger mechanism similar to those used in Ankara in a raid in Moscow. No information was given by Ankara yet on whether there would be contact with Russian authorities over that, while Turkey and Russia are on opposite sides in the Syrian conflict nowadays.
If ISIL is the prime suspect of the Ankara twin bombings, more efforts are expected from the government to fight against this terrorist organization which threatens Turkey with new hits through its websites.
The Ankara twin bombings took place only 21 days before the Nov. 1 reelection. Now there are 18 days left before it. In the same interview he said ISIL was the prime suspect, PM Davutoğlu also said that such acts of terror could not stop the elections from taking place. A tense 18 days are ahead of Turkey.