The deadly suicide bombing on July 20th in Suruç, Turkey which left 32 young activists dead and dozens of others severely wounded has shaken the country. The moment of the explosion was captured on camera, and in the aftermath forensics investigation began. The bomber’s identity has now been confirmed to be a 20-year-old Mechanical Engineering student at Adıyaman University, Seyh Abdurrahman Alagoz, who had disappeared with his brother Yunus Emre Alagoz in 2014.
The two brothers had been on the “wanted list” with high suspicion of terrorist activities since their father had filed a complaint in November 2014. The two brothers allegedly left their home town of Adıyaman for Gaziantep and later for Kilis, from where they set out for a training camp in Syria. After the training camp in Syria, they illegally re-entered Turkey and visited their home without getting caught twice. It has also been figured out that the brothers went to Syria at the same time as Orhan Gonder, who had carried out a bombing attack in Diyarbakır two days before the 2015 general elections at an HDP rally.
Video of the initial explosion:
23 Suicide Bombers on Wanted Lists
A total of 18 families in Adıyaman have filed complaints and reported that their children have joined ISIS. A total of 23 names remain on the “wanted for possible terrorist activities” list of the Turkish police.
The suicide bomber Abdurrahman Alagoz is also reported to have been detained by the police earlier and then released, even though his name appeared on the Wanted list. An HDP member of parliament for the city of Kars stated that there are several local sources confirming this detention and possible camera footage and there will be an investigation. The Diyarbakır bomber had also been detained and released by the police prior to the bloody attacks.
In another note, the city of Adıyaman appears to be known for infamous bombers. The city of 250,000 inhabitants comprises Turkish, Kurdish, Sunni and Alevi people, with a high level of conservative lifestyles. In the most recent elections Adıyaman’s five representatives were divided into long-time governing Islamist AKP (4) members and members of the pro-Kurdish Socialist party HDP (1). The multiethnic and multi-religious city has mostly been peaceful until the “tagging” of Alevi Housesin recent years.
Islam Tea House: Frequent Address of Bombers
In the city of Adıyaman the Alagoz brothers had opened a tea house named “Islam” which was frequently visited by both Diyarbakır and Suruç bombers. According to the Daily Cumhuriyet, the tea house later was closed down after three months of operation by the municipality and police for lack of official papers, and now the building is being used as an advertising agency. Witnesses say that usually around 50 people would visit the tea house and police would surveil the vicinity 24/7.
When the tea house was first opened, local shop owners filed complaints out of suspicion and the tea house was raided, upon which the owners protested saying “We live in a Muslim majority country; is it illegal to grow beard?”
Neighboring shop owners also stated that during the deadly October 6-7 clashes, the tea house stayed closed for several days and it has been reported that the people hanging out there would say they were going to Kobane to join ISIS forces. They have been saying that mostly young people in their twenties would visit the tea house and families of the disappeared children would come to seek clues to there sons’ whereabouts.
The Adıyaman chairperson of the main opposition party CHP stated that they will file a report on the disappeared children and ISIS recruitments in the city. A CHP representative states that there are rumors of 300 people joining ISIS from the city of Adıyaman.