Whoever bombed Ankara succeeded in further polarizing Turkish society

GlobalPost
A man holds up a picture of Sebnem Yurtman, a Turkish Labour Party (EMEP) activist killed in the twin bomb attacks in the city a day earlier, during a rally in Ankara on Oct. 11, 2015. 
ADEM ALTAN

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Need to know:

Whoever bombed a peace rally in Ankara yesterday was seeking to increasingly polarize Turkish society — and they seem to have at least preliminarily achieved that goal. 

Questions abound after Saturday's twin bombings, which killed at least 95 people and wounded hundreds more. No one has claimed responsibilty, but that hasn't stopped people from pointing the finger in what is, without a doubt, Turkey's deadliest attack in history. 

The state has suggested that groups including the Islamic State, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) were capable of carrying out such an attack. Opposition parties, ahead of an election that is just weeks away, have criticized the long-ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for failing to shed light on the attacks. 

Many of the activists targeted Saturday blame the government, too. Shouts of "Erdogan murderer," "government resign!" and "the state will give account" were heard Sunday, when activists reconvened in central Ankara to mourn their dead. Polarization, check. 

The government has made it clear that elections will be held Nov. 1. Let's hope there are no more opening acts. 

Also Sunday morning, Iraq's military says it struck a convoy carrying Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi en route to a meeting with other IS leaders. The site of the meeting was also struck and several ISIS leaders were killed and wounded, the Iraqi military said.

However, the fate of al-Baghdadi is still unknown — which may sound familiar. Claims that al-Baghdadi has been hit in airstrikes have been made twice over the past year, and each time al-Baghdadi's face pops up on social media days later with a new recording. 

Want to know:

Even before writer Svetlana Alexievich became the first Belarusian to snag the Nobel Prize for literature on Thursday, there were some faint signs of change for her closed country.

Recently, Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko — despised for crushing dissent — has played a valuable host for international negotiations and freed political prisoners. He’s expected to sweep Sunday’s presidential election — for the fifth time in a row. But the vote could bring Belarus closer to the West, if it goes well and the EU suspends sanctions as a result.

Still, analysts say, the vote doesn't mean much. No one expects quick political change. Even Alexievich herself said she wouldn’t vote in Sunday’s election “because we know who will win.”

But all is not lost. A dose of international prestige could seriously boost her moral voice, force state-run media to pay attention to her, and stimulate Belarusian culture.

Alexievich, 67, is stoking change at a deeper level. Her work serves as a “a monument to suffering and courage in our time,” the Nobel judges said. Many hope that her literature prize provides an alternative source of pride for a population long controlled by a heavy-handed, Soviet-style state.

Strange but true:

This one is equal parts sad and amazing.

A 12-year-old jaguar brought to New Delhi zoo on a "breeding loan" is being sent back after he was found too fat to mate, officials said this weekend.

The big cat, nicknamed Salman, was borrowed from a zoo in southern Kerala state last October. A female jaguar has tried everything to get Salman to notice her, but all he apparently wants to do is eat and relax.  

"The fact is he is too fat to breed and we have decided to send him back to Kerala," said Delhi zoo curator Riaz Khan, adding the jaguar polishes off some 13 pounds of buffalo meat daily.

Off the record, Salman finds eating buffalo meat to be a very sensual experience.