Roughly 1,000 people gather in Istanbul to commemorate the 102 victims of last week's twin bomb blasts in Ankara, releasing black balloons into the sky and blaming the government for an intelligence failure. Mana Rabiee reports.
The attack that killed over 100 people in Ankara was one week ago ... but for some of the roughly one-thousand people gathered in Istanbul to remember the victims, it could have been just yesterday. Last Saturday's twin bomb blasts targeted a rally by pro-Kurdish and civic groups and came three weeks ahead of a general election. It was the worst such attack in Turkish history ... and it triggered protests by critics of President Tayyip Erdogan and his government (BACK TO CROWD) who called the attack a major intelligence failure. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH DEMONSTRATOR, MESUT AYHAN, SAYING: "We already know the perpetrators and we knew that they would not give us a proper explanation. Everybody here knows who the murderer is. They will pay for this." (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH DEMONSTRATOR, ERTAN ILDEM, SAYING: "What should we do against this? We should stay firm, remain adamant and revolt against pressure and tyranny." The Prime Minister says the attacks were meant to undermine his ruling AK Party and to stop it from securing the votes it needs in the election to form a majority government. Several police and security officials have been removed from their posts as the government launches an investigation. A dozen people have been detained in connection with the attack and the government says signs point to Islamic State ... the insurgents Turkey's helping battle in neighboring Syria. Turks want answers but, today, this gathering is focussing on putting a face to the many victims and commemorating their lives.