Brussels bombings: Social media reaction to attacks criticised as disproportionate compared to Ankara

In the wake of the explosions, people took to social media to share cartoons in solidarity and the term #JeSuisBruxelles trended for much of the day on Twitter

People gather to leave tributes at the Place de la Bourse following today's attacks on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium
People gather to leave tributes at the Place de la Bourse following today's attacks on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium

Accusations of hypocrisy have surrounded the reaction on social media to the bomb attacks in Brussels, which many contrasted with the response to similar terror attacks around the world.

In the wake of the explosions, people took to social media to share cartoons in solidarity and the term #JeSuisBruxelles trended for much of the day on Twitter.

Across Europe, monuments such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Berlin's Brandenburg Gate were illuminated in the colours of the Belgian flag out of respect for the victims. In Brussels, thousands gathered to create an improvised memorial using chalk to write messages of respect and defiance.

However, many pointed out the differences in the way people reacted to the Brussels attacks in comparison to those in Ankara.

At least 31 people were killed and 200 injured in the attacks on Brussels. An attack in Ankara last week left 36 dead, another in February killed 28 and an attack last October killed 107.

Governments were also criticised for the way they reacted to the attacks.

Following the bombings, the Belgian flag was flown at half mast above Downing Street, prompting Yasmin Ahmed to ask, in an article for Indy Voices: “Why didn’t Downing Street raise the Turkish flag after the atrocities in Ankara?”

Brussels residents unite

A spokesperson for Number 10 told The Independent: “As a mark of respect for those who died in Belgium today, the Prime Minister has asked that all Departments lower their Union Flag on Tuesday 22 March. No10 is also flying the Belgian flag.

“As the Prime Minister made clear today, the attacks in Belgium could just as well be attacks in Britain or elsewhere. We need to stand together against these appalling terrorists and make sure they can never win."

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