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Turkey Bans Large-scale Commemorations on 1st Anniversary of Suicide Attacks

  • VOA News

Riot police clash with protesters as they push back hundreds of activists trying to reach the site of last year's twin suicide bombings to commemorate more than a hundred victims of an attack blamed on Islamic State militants, outside the main train station in the capital Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 10, 2016.

Riot police clash with protesters as they push back hundreds of activists trying to reach the site of last year's twin suicide bombings to commemorate more than a hundred victims of an attack blamed on Islamic State militants, outside the main train station in the capital Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 10, 2016.

Turkish police in Ankara used tear gas and water cannons Monday to prevent hundreds of activists from holding a protest to commemorate the first anniversary of an attack considered the worst in Turkey's modern history.

Authorities banned large-scale commemorations of the twin suicide bombings, citing security concerns. At least 60 demonstrators were detained and 1,700 riot police were on duty in the city, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

A family member of a victim mourns before riot police used tear gas and a water cannon to push back activists wanting to commemorate the victims of a suicide attack in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 10, 2016.

A family member of a victim mourns before riot police used tear gas and a water cannon to push back activists wanting to commemorate the victims of a suicide attack in Ankara, Turkey, Oct. 10, 2016.

Police blocked roads leading to the station and barred demonstrators from marching to the site where the explosions occurred, leading to scuffles between police and the mourners.

But authorities allowed families of the victims and some representatives of civil society to lay flowers at the site. They also allowed passengers to go through the road blocks to catch trains.

More than 100 demonstrators marched through Kizilay Square, one of the city's main shopping areas, shouting "The murderous state will be brought to account" and saying they were "standing shoulder to shoulder against fascism."

On Oct. 10, 2015, suicide bombers believed to be linked to Islamic State blew themselves up in a crowd of pro-Kurdish peace activists planning to hold a rally outside Ankara's main train station, killing 103 people and wounding about 500 people.

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