Zeki Mafzan stepped over burned bodies that were barely recognizable as the young men and women who populated Monday’s youth activist meeting.
The Kurdish activist was looking for signs of life after a bomb detonated in the southeastern Turkish border town of Suruc. Thirty-two activists and students were killed, and the Turkish government blamed the Islamic State group. Kurdish fighters have been battling the militants in Syria for more than a year, but this was the first time they’d attacked inside Turkey.
On Wednesday, Mafzan, along with hundreds of other activists and Kurdish civilians, returned to Suruc Square, holding a sign that read “The Turkish Government Is Pro-ISIS,” accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of turning a blind eye, and covertly encouraging ISIS attacks on Kurds.
The man responsible for carrying out the attack in Suruc was revealed Thursday as a 20-year-old Turkish Kurd, named in the local media as Seyh Abdurrahman Alagoz from Adiyaman, a Kurdish-majority city in southern Turkey. He reportedly left the country six months ago and returned to Turkey just 10 days before the attack. Many suspect that he had gone to fight with Islamic State militants in Syria. The revelation did not stop Turkey’s rival factions from blaming each other for the attack.