Thousands of mourners filled the streets of Ankara Sunday and vented their anger at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after 97 people were killed in the country’s worst-ever terror attack, while the government raced to identify the two male suicide bombers it blamed for the bloodshed.
Flags flew at half-mast across Turkey on the first of three days of national mourning declared by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, as questions grew over who could have ordered Saturday’s bombings on a peace rally in Ankara.
The attacks have raised tensions in Turkey just three weeks before snap elections are due on November 1 and as the military wages an offensive against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Kurdish militants.
With the country on edge, Erdogan issued a statement condemning the “heinous” bombings and cancelled a planned visit to Turkmenistan but he has yet to speak in public since the attack that shocked the nation.
On Sunday, thousands of demonstrators thronged central Ankara’s Sihhiye Square, close to the blast site by the city’s main train station, to pay tribute to the victims.
Many of those gathered accused the government of failing to provide security at the ill-fated rally and several anti-government demonstrators shouted “Erdogan murderer” and “government resign!”