Systematic police attacks by Erdogan regime on HDP deputies

Information note by HDP Foreign Affairs Spokespersons Feleknas Uca & Hişyar Özsoy:

Over the last six years, HDP members and executives have been facing intense pressure from the AKP government and its ultra-nationalist ally the MHP through both the judiciary and the security forces. HDP deputies also face brutal physical attacks by the security forces during their political activities.

One such attack took place on 9 October 2022 in the Yüksekova district of Hakkari province. Demonstrations were held in several Turkish cities that day to protest Syria’s deportation of Abdullah Öcalan in 1999. Police did not allow the demonstrations and detained more than 130 people across the country, including HDP members and executives. In Yüksekova district, police attacked the protesters and battered HDP MP Mr. Habib Eksik and Mr. Said Dede, dragging them to the ground. Mr. Eksik suffered multiple fractures to his leg and a broken nose and had to undergo surgery.

This attack against our deputies is not an exception. Both the police and government members have subjected them to violence before. On 7 March 2018, Mr. Mahmut Toğrul, the HDP’s chief administrator in the Parliament, criticized Turkey’s invasion of Afrin in his speech at a plenary session. After his speech, over 40 AKP MPs attacked Mr Toğrul and other HDP deputies first verbally, then physically. Mr. Toğrul’s left arm was broken and he received a medical report from the hospital stating that he could not work for 45 days.

On 13 May 2019, during the hunger strikes in Turkish prisons, our Diyarbakır MP and foreign affairs commission co-spokesperson, Ms. Feleknas Uca’s left arm was broken during the police intervention against the press release that was planned to be made in Batman.

Ms. Uca’s lawyers filed a criminal complaint against the relevant police officers for “torture and ill-treatment and violation of parliamentary immunity”, including footage and hospital reports regarding the incident. Yet, Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Batman refused to prosecute the complaint and called the police intervention “lawful”.

On 20 August 2019, HDP MPs and co-mayors held a sit-in in front of Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality to protest the appointment of trustees to HDP municipalities. Police brutally attacked the protesters, and HDP Batman MP and women’s assembly spokesperson, Ms. Ayşe Acar Başaran, was hit on the head with a baton causing her to lose consciousness and be taken to the hospital. Ms. Başaran was also verbally attacked and threatened by a police officer during a provocative action organized by the government in front of the HDP headquarters in Ankara in May 2022.

It is clear that the police have been encouraged by the AKP-MHP alliance to commit these careless, and brutal attacks. The ultimate responsibility for the attacks lies with the ultra-nationalist government coalition, with their aggressive politics towards the HDP and other democratic opposition. Despite all these attacks, HDP MPs, together with party members and supporters, will continue to struggle for a democratic and peaceful country.