Turkish political parties decided to suspend their upcoming election rallies on Oct. 12 ahead of the Nov. 1 snap elections following the Oct. 10 Ankara twin blasts which claimed at least 97 lives and wounded hundreds.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP), holder of the caretaker government, decided to suspend holding election rallies until Oct. 16 in the aftermath of the Oct. 10 suicide bombing in the run-up to the snap polls on Nov.1.
AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik announced the party’s decision on Oct. 12, following a Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting chaired by AKP leader Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
“Our few rallies on Friday [Oct.16] and consecutive rallies on a routine schedule, rather than a party rally, will be organized as rallies of unity, peace and fraternity against terror,” Çelik said.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) also announced its decision to suspend election rallies starting from Oct. 13 due to the grief from the Ankara bombing.
“Our grief is great. We expect that those traitors will be found and the immediate resignation of the government members who did not take sufficient security measures,” said CHP secretary general Gürsel Tekin.
Meanwhile, Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chair of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said he did not find it necessary to hold huge crowded rallies from now on, adding that it was both impossible and wrong.
“How can we hold rallies in such a bitter atmosphere? We can provide our safety by ourselves and we are not seriously worried about that. The life of one person is more important than our election success and rallies,” Demirtaş said after visiting a condolence tent for Kübra Meltem Mollaoğlu, a victim of the Ankara bombing, in Istanbul.
Earlier on Oct. 12, HDP spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen said the party was considering cancelling all of its rallies ahead of the Nov. 1 election due to security fears.
The Oct. 10 attack in Ankara which killed at least 97 people and was the worst of its kind in Turkish history has fuelled security concerns surrounding the election. The interior minister was reported as saying that extra security precautions would be taken after the bombing.