HDP: Regarding Armed Attack Against the HDP Izmir Provincial Building

Statement by HDP’s Co-spokespersons for Foreign Affairs Feleknas Uca & Hişyar Özsoy

The HDP has been under severe political attack by the AKP government, especially since 7 June 2015 general election. We have faced police operations, detentions, and arrest, and also physical attacks that have been perpetrated by ultranationalist mobs, directed or provoked by the government. Thousands of party members, executives, and co-mayors have been detained and arrested throughout this period, and severe physical attacks have taken place as a consequence of the government’s criminalization politics against the HDP. The latest physical attack has taken place against the HDP’s İzmir Provincial Building, and, sadly, a young woman who was in the building was murdered by the assailant’s gun fire.

On 17 June 2021, an assailant with a shotgun attacked our office in İzmir. Deniz Poyraz, the daughter of a party employee, was in the office, and she lost her life as a result of the assailant’s gunfire. As our party officials in İzmir have stated, our party building has been targeted for months. For around a month, the police have set up a check point in front of the party building, in response to a family that is keeping watch in front of the building to protest their allegation that their child was taken to the mountains by the PKK. Our party officials in İzmir had talked with the police officials and the governorship regarding the possibility of provocation, but there had been no results. It is also important to state that this attack, as previous ones, took place before the eyes of the police without any intervention or prevention. Our building was blockaded by police just after the incident and prevented party officials as well as mother of Deniz Poyraz to enter in the building.

This is not the first time that our offices have been attacked. Just after the June 2015 general election, and then again in 2016, hundreds of our offices, including our headquarters in Ankara, were attacked by racist mobs, and many were burnt down. These attacks also occurred before the eyes of the police and the Ministry of the Interior, who did not take any measures to prevent the attacks or prosecute the perpetrators. Throughout these attacks, all our attempts to communicate with state and government officials went unanswered. Until now, no perpetrators have been brought to justice for the attacks against our party members and party offices.

This latest, deadly attack, in which a young woman was murdered, is a result of the government’s criminalization policy against the HDP. It is not a coincidence that the attack took place while the Kobanê case is continuing and the HDP is facing closure. Besides, in a period where dirty relations between the government and the mafia have come to light, this attack once again shows that HDP has been targeted as in every chaotic, critical process.

It is clear that the AKP-MHP coalition is primarily responsible for this severe attack. The groups attacking our offices have always been encouraged by the government’s incitement of hatred and racism against the HDP. We invite the democratic international community to put pressure on the Turkish government to stop the criminalization policy against the HDP and prevent the attacks on its members and party offices.