The photo released by the Turkish authorities as showing the Ankara bomber. (Photo: Cihan)
As 14 of the 21 suspects detained as part of the investigation into last week’s deadly car-bomb attack in Ankara were arrested on Monday, a Turkish news portal has said the DNA analysis reveals that the government has falsely announced the suicide bomber.
The attacker is not Salih Neccar as was claimed by the government but rather Abdulbaki Sömer, as was announced by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), the Cumhuriyet daily’s news portal said on Monday.
It became clear that the attacker was Abdulbaki after the DNA sample taken from Sömer’s father, Musa Sömer, matched with the DNA sample of the attacker, the news portal said.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said, less than 24 hours after the attack, that Neccar, a Syrian national who he said is a member of the Syrian wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), had conducted the attack with the PKK’s collaboration.
TAK, which is linked to the PKK, claimed responsibility for the attack a day after Davutoğlu’s statement, saying the perpetrator is Abdülbaki, a 26-year-old Turkish national born in the eastern city of Van.
A car laden with explosives was detonated next to military buses last Wednesday as they waited at a traffic light in the administrative heart of Ankara, killing 28 and injuring 61.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is conducting the investigation into the attack, had referred 14 of the suspects to court for arrest while releasing the remaining seven on Sunday evening.
All those referred to court were arrested on charges of aiding a terrorist organization, forgery on official documents and fraud by a penal court of peace on duty.
Interior Minister Efkan Ala argued, during an interview on the NTV on Sunday, that the PKK’s TAK claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing to whitewash the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Sönmez’s father was summoned to Ankara and gave a DNA sample. According to a report in the Hürriyet daily on Monday, the father said in a previous statement that the person in the photograph released by the authorities that purportedly shows Neccar is actually of his son.
The father’s statement had already increased the probability that Sönmez presented himself as Neccar when he came to Turkey from Syria.
Commenting on the controversy over the identity of the Ankara bomber, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said following a Cabinet meeting on Monday that the name of the bomber “may be different but that does not change the reality.”
Kurtulmuş said it is clear that the bomber entered Turkey in the summer of 2014 from a region controlled by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).
“That was the information we had when announcing the bomber’s identity. We identified that person as such based on his fingerprint and personal information he had provided previously. It is clear that he entered Turkey from a PYD-controlled region in summer 2014. That was what we had then. Now, it is the duty of the prosecutor investigating the incident to determine whether his real identity was different or not,” he said.
CHP blasts gov’t for intelligence failure
Levent Gök, the parliamentary group deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has harshly criticized the government for having failed to properly identify the perpetrator.
“How could you have failed to [previously] determine his [perpetrator’s] connection with the terrorist organization if he is already registered [in official documents],” Gök demanded to know at a press meeting in Parliament on Monday.
Arguing there is no definite information about the identity of the perpetrator of the attack, the CHP deputy called on the government to unearth the real identity of the attacker and say how he entered Turkey.
Gök also blasted the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) for a failure in intelligence saying, “The intelligence has totally failed.”
He also accused the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) of profiling and closely monitoring opposition deputies instead of fighting against terrorism.
Gök also blasted Davutoğlu’s statement that security measures would be tightened in Ankara, accusing the government of failing to grasp the size of the terrorist threat the country is faced with.
Noting the AK Party has been in power for almost 14 years, Gök said, “Such an unserious attitude can not be accepted.”
Interior Minister Ala had said in the interview with NTV that TAK’s statement about the suicide bomber should not be taken seriously.
Neccar was identified based on fingerprint analysis in computer programs, said the minister, adding that the perpetrator entered Turkey from Syria’s Amude region in 2014.
According to Ala, Neccar registered with Turkish authorities after his arrival in Turkey.
TAK said the bombing was in response to the policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and said it would continue its attacks.