HDP blames government for racist attack on Kurdish seasonal workers

HDP Agriculture Commission Spokesperson Rıdvan Turan has accused the AKP-MHP government of being responsible for the racist attack on Kurdish seasonal workers.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has released a statement on the latest wave of racist attacks against Kurdish citizens in various parts of Turkey.

“The seasonal agricultural workers who went to Afyon from Diyarbakir and Mardin were subjected to racist attacks on July 19 since they spoke Kurdish. Nearly 50 men attacked seasonal worker families in the Derecine district of Sultandağı in Afyon province, leaving 7 people injured. We tried to reach the governor of Afyon to get information about the incident, yet he did not answer our calls and evaded his responsibility,” the statement said.


HDP pointed out that, “The reason for this racist attack is the polarizing policy of the ruling AKP-MHP, which systematically targets our party and our people. The attacks are the result of the government’s marginalizing policies and language of hatred towards Kurds, in place for years. All these policies have led to a lynching culture that has become increasingly predominant in recent years. Some racist groups consider themselves as representing the state authority, and attack seasonal agricultural workers whom they deem as criminals.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of seasonal agricultural workers go to work in almost all regions of Turkey from the eastern and south-eastern provinces. Families engaged in agricultural work are dealing with problems such as poor working conditions, low wages, and lack of social and health insurance. Moreover, they are forced to leave the regions they go to work because of racist attacks. Hazelnut workers who went to Sakarya from Mardin Mazıdağı were attacked last year by their employers and villagers, and they had to return to their hometown after the attack. Local law enforcement officers consider racist attacks as regular judicial cases and send workers back to their hometowns as soon as possible.

We condemn the racist attacks! The AKP government is responsible for all these attacks. The government must put an end to the polarizing language as soon as possible and prevent the violence that seasonal agricultural workers are exposed to in the regions they go to work.”



On July 19: Workers who went to Afyon from Diyarbakir and Mardin as seasonal agricultural workers were subjected to a racist attack and called “terrorists” because they spoke Kurdish. 7 people were injured.

In the town of Sultandağı Derecine in Afyon, racists targeted some seasonal agricultural workers who went to the barbershop. In the attack, 7 people, including 2 women, were injured and had to be taken to the hospital.

Nurullah Aba, the cousin of the victims told Mezopotamya Agency (MA): “One of the workers, Ismail Tan and his cousin Ali Tan, went to the young headman’s barber to have a shave. The headman wants them to get in a queue. They queue. However, every newcomer is admitted before them. After 2 hours, they are still not allowed in. The young people also ask why and they are then verbally attacked. “You are terrorists; you speak Kurdish here.” The attackers put Ismail Tan, one of the young people, in a car and took him to a forest area. They beat him up and film the violence. We know that Ismail Tan ended up with a broken arm. The situation escalated when Ali Tan informed the families and they went to the barber. Here, 7 people, including 2 women, were injured with sticks. The condition of the injured is not critical.”

Aba said that after the incident happened, riot police and gendarmes were sent to Derecine town, where they lived. The families who were attacked would be sent to their hometown of Urfa by the decision of the district governor’s office. Stating that they came to Afyon 25 days ago, Aba noted that the reason for their deportation was that the villagers did not want them there.

Stating that the attack was carried out deliberately, Aba said that they were seen as ‘terrorists’ due to their being Kurds and speaking Kurdish, and therefore they were exposed to the attack. Aba said that they had been exposed to the same treatment for 3-4 days and repeated that the attack was carried out on purpose and in a planned way.

HDP Urfa MP Ayşe Sürücü denounced the racist attack on social media and said that the main reason for the attack was the polarizing language and policy of the government. Sürücü added that the government was responsible for what was done and said she was trying to talk to the Governor of Afyon, but had not been successful.

Source: ANF