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Opinion

Opinion: Ankara was an attack on democracy in Turkey

Saturday's suicide bombings in Ankara killed almost 100 people in the interests of a crumbling political system. But, DW's Daniel Heinrich writes, the victims were the people of Turkey.

Videos of

Saturday's attack in Ankara

are circulating on Facebook and Twitter, but they're almost unbearable to look at.

The attack

is the worst form of "ayip", the Turkish word for "shame" - for the suicide bombers, their co-perpetrators and all those who secretly condone the act, but also for all politicians who are trying to make political capital out of it.

Ultimately, it is a disgrace. The attack is a consequence of

a poisoned political culture

in which many things have gotten out of hand if you view them from a liberal and democratic perspective.

Daniel Heinrich

Daniel Heinrich

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regularly ignores the constitution: For example, he has personally intervened in election campaigns, which is unconstitutional.

Turkey's primary opposition, the Kemalist and social democratic Republican People's Party (CHP), no longer has much to say and has merely resorted to calling Erdogan a dictator on a regular basis. No one hears much from Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party. And the far-right Nationalist Movement Party has not done much more than play the "foreigners are threatening Turkey" card for the past year.

Turkish democracy is slowly killing itself

To ensure that there are no misunderstandings: Neither corruption nor the abuse of power is as bad as the nearly 100 deaths caused by the attack. But, in addition to grieving over Saturday's deaths, we should also be sad that this attack will probably only reinforce the meaningless, dogmatic "us against them" attitude held by Turkey's different political camps, and thus detract from the structural problems even more.

Turkey's economy is at a standstill, the government's battle with left-wing Kurds rages on, and

nearly 2 million Syrian refugees

now live there. However, integration services and integration are nonexistent.

The greatest nonhuman victim of the bomb attacks - and generally of the whole campaign ahead of November's snap elections - will not appear in any statistics. It is abstract, invisible and more elusive than human lives: Turkish democracy, which is in the process of killing itself and is making a strong effort to drag along anyone who values civic engagement.

Watch video 02:14

Who’s behind the double bombing?

Accusations were made very soon after the attack

After the attack and the elections, the rift in Turkey's polarized society will only continue to grow. It is not surprising that the blame game began so soon after the bombing. Instead of searching for the cause of the explosions, accusations are being made and political opponents being defamed.

In reality, it doesn't matter who carried out the attack - be it the "Islamic State," the

Kurdistan Workers' Party

(PKK), radical communists, nationalists or anyone else. Analyses, comments, reports and expert commissions cannot help those affected: the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends of the victims. They are grieving for loved ones who have fallen victim to a heinous crime.

All involved should be held accountable: those who took part in the attack, those who were even remotely aware of it, anyone who has condoned it and anyone who is trying to capitalize on it. After all, Turkey does have diligent law enforcement authorities.

Turkish citizens are the victims of a corrupt system

Let me take the time to clarify my position as I anticipate certain comments: This text is not directed against Turkey or the Turkish people.

My words are directed toward a corrupt system that has been relentless in its pursuit of power and its quest to preserve political dominance at the expense of its country's wonderful and warmhearted people.

The citizens of Turkey are becoming the victims of a senseless and polarized political culture that it is not about religion, Islam or the PKK, but solely about power. And its representatives, regardless of their political leanings, are willing to use any means at their disposal to come out on top.

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