Scores of people have hit the streets of Turkey’s major cities to condemn a Dec. 10 attack that was claimed by an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) while expressing defiance as the death toll in the twin bombing attacks in the heart of Istanbul rose to 44.
CROWDS GATHERED IN ISTANBUL
Crowds gathered in Istanbul and in a number of other Turkish cities on Dec. 11, holding demonstrations and standing in silence with Turkish flags.
Groups of people have also been visiting the sites of the explosions in the Beşik-taş district of Istanbul since the early hours of the day on Dec. 11, leaving flowers and Turkish flags at the scene. Prayers were also read out for the victims killed in the attack.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the site of the first explosion adjacent to the Beşiktaş Vodafone Arena Stadium on Dec. 12 and received information from officials about the attack.
AKP, CHP AND MHP ORGANIZED DEMONSTRATIONS
The Istanbul branches of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Move-ment Party (MHP) also organized demonstrations and marches to the sce-ne of the attacks with hundreds holding flags and banners that read “we will not get used to it” while chanting that they would defy the attacks.
ERDOGAN WAS JOINED BY A GROUP OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
Erdoğan was joined by a group of government officials including Energy Minis-ter Berat Albayrak, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Family Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya. Istanbul Gov. Vasip Şahin, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, Beşik-taş Mayor Murat Hazinedar, Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan and Beşiktaş Sports Club President Fikret Orman were also at the scene along with Erdoğan.
Erdoğan also attended the funeral of one of the police officers who was killed in the attack, Haşim Usta, in the Fatih district of Istanbul.