Statement by HDP’s Co-spokespersons for Foreign Affairs Feleknas Uca & Hişyar Özsoy
The incessant smear campaigns of the Turkish government to criminalize the HDP have recently paved the way for deadly physical attacks against our offices and members. On 17 June 2021, an assailant with a shotgun attacked our office in İzmir and tortured and murdered Deniz Poyraz, the daughter of a party employee. While we are still grieving for our friend Deniz, our office in Marmaris district of Muğla became the target of another racist attack yesterday morning.
Thankfully, no one was hurt this time and the assailant was detained with the weapon he used. The assailant entered the office and damaged property after opening fire. HDP’s local administrators said that more than 100 bullets were fired, windows and tables were broken, and that there were 15 bullets left on the fridge. According to the office of Mugla’s governor, the assailant carried out a similar attack on the office in 2018 and was charged with damaging property after breaking its windows.
HDP did experience hundreds of such attacks between the general and snap elections in June and November 2015. In that period, hundreds of our offices, including our headquarters in Ankara, were attacked by racist mobs, and many were burnt down. Almost all attacks against our party offices occurred before the watching eyes of the police and the Ministry of the Interior, who did not take any measures to prevent such attacks or prosecute the perpetrators. During these attacks, all our attempts to communicate with state and government officials went unanswered. Until now, no perpetrators have been properly prosecuted and punished for these attacks.
These attacks aim to intimidate the people who support the HDP. Please note that the recent two attacks happened in western cities of Turkey. We think that one main reason for these attacks is to destroy the bridge that we have been trying to build between Turkish and Kurdish peoples.
Two attacks in one month are definitely not a coincidence. If the government does not stop its criminalizing smear campaigns and incessant hate speech against us and effectively prosecute the perpetrators, many more attacks are likely to happen, as we get closer to the elections. The political responsibility of these attacks belongs to the government.
In addition to all other legal and political pressures we have, such as never-ending waves of arrests and party closure and Kobane cases, we now also have to struggle against such cowardly physical attacks.