*** DEBUG END ***

Church leaders condemn Ankara bombings

16 October 2015


Victim: mourners carry the coffin of Abdullah Erol, killed in the Ankara bomb blasts, on Monday

Victim: mourners carry the coffin of Abdullah Erol, killed in the Ankara bomb blasts, on Monday

POPE FRANCIS has expressed his “deep sadness” for the victims of the twin bomb blasts in the capital of Turkey, Ankara, on Saturday.

At least 97 were killed, and many were injured in explosions outside the central railway station, during a peace march calling for an end to violence between the Turkish government and Kurdish separatists.

In a telegram signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope condemned the “barbaric act”, and asked Christians to show a “spiritual closeness” to the families affected. The Pope made the appeal after the Angelus in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, asking God to welcome the souls of the dead and comfort the suffering.

The Turkish government believes that two male suicide-bombers caused the explosions, although no group has claimed responsibility. The Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, said on Monday that Islamic State was the prime suspect. The authorities were close to identifying one of the bombers, he said.

On Sunday, thousands gathered in Ankara to mourn the dead and express their anger. Reports from the BBC suggest that scuffles broke out as the grieving attempted to lay flowers on the site of the blasts. Rally organisers believe that the number of deaths is 128 — higher than the offical figure — although this is unconfirmed.

The Suffragan Bishop in Europe, the Rt Revd David Hamid, wrote in his blog on Saturday: “Turkey is to hold national elections on 1 November, and the attack seems to be aimed at sowing a sense of insecurity and fear among the population.” Bishop Hamid wrote that the locum priest of St Nicholas’s, Ankara, had said that “everyone is vigilant.”

Political campaigning before the elections, next month, is said to have been suspended owing to security concerns after the attacks.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)