(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — The death toll from Turkey’s second suicide bombing in a month continues to rise, with at least 37 people now dead as a result of the attack in the Kizilay district of Ankara on Sunday evening. A further 125 remain in hospital — some in a serious condition — after the blast from a bomb-laden car, less than a month after dozens of military personnel and civilians were killed in the Turkish capital.
Turkish security officials have since claimed that a man and woman belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) — which has waged a decades-long battle for Kurdish autonomy in the region— are to blame for the attack, although there has been no claim of responsibility. Critics have been quick to condemn the premature accusation as Turkey faces multiple security threats, including from Islamic State militants.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, reports emerged that a Turkish court had ordered social media accounts to be blocked to prevent people from sharing photos.
In the global response to the third bombing in the capital since October 2015, people rushed to update their Facebook profile pictures and overlay their mugshots with a Turkish flag. The hashtags #PrayForAnkara and #JeSuisAnkara began trending immediately in solidarity across social media.
Actually, that is not true. I made it up. However, the world was so mute on the devastating attack that a simple Facebook status calling for empathy with the victims received over 100,000 shares, presumably from those frustrated with the apparent double standard that often plagues reactions to tragic incidents around the world. The post by James Taylor, who lives in Ankara, urged readers to imagine the attack had happened where they live.
“Can you imagine being there? Can you imagine the place you walk past every day, the bus stops you use, the roads you cross being obliterated?” he asked.
“Contrary to what many people think, Turkey is not the Middle East. Ankara is not a war zone, it is a normal modern bustling city, just like any other European capital, and Kizilay is the absolute heart, the centre,” he added.
“It is very easy to look at terror attacks that happen in London, in New York, in Paris and feel pain and sadness for those victims, so why is it not the same for Ankara? Is it because you just don’t realise that Ankara is no different from any of these cities? Is it because you think that Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, like Syria, like Iraq, like countries that are in a state of civil war, so therefore it must be the same and because you don’t care about those ones, then why should you care about Turkey? If you don’t believe that these attacks in Ankara affect you, or you can’t feel the same pain you felt during the Paris or London attacks, then maybe you should stop to think why, why is it that you feel like that.”
Taylor concludes with: “You were Charlie, you were Paris. Will you be Ankara?”
Others took to Twitter to voice their dismay at the global double standards.