ERZURUM (ANF) – Fascist civilians and police attacked the HDP rally in Erzurum and wounded 13 people. People protested the Turkish president Erdoğan’s targeting of HDP. HDP member Birtane emphasized the role of the police in the events.
After the HDP rally in Erzurum where HDP Co-President Selahattin Demirtaş spoke, rally participants left İstasyon Square and marched towards the Kurdish-majority Mahallebaşı neighborhood. The racist attacks have stopped but tensions linger in the city.
ATTACKERS ARE MAINLY AKP YOUTH BRANCH AND GREY WOLVES MEMBERS
As tens of thousands of people arrived at the HDP rally site, AKP Youth Branch and Grey Wolves members who had called for the cancellation of the rally began to gather near the entrance of the rally site. The racist crowd, composed of nearly 2000 people, began to attack HDP supporters and wounded 6 people as the police stood nearby and watched. The racist crowd’s provocations continued throughout the rally and one HDP supporter who was affected from police teargas had a heart attack.
POLICE ATTACKED THE PEOPLE WHO WERE LYNCHED
After the rally, participants left İstasyon Square and marched towards the Kurdish-majority Mahallebaşı neighborhood. Police prevented the rally participants from marching and supported the fascist groups who continued their attack on HDP supporters. Due to the police attack with teargas and pressurized water, rally participants were pushed to Dağ neighborhood instead. Here, the racist groups attacked HDP supporters from three sides and rally participants repelled these attacks by throwing rocks.
HDP SET UP A CRISIS DESK
Shielded by the police, fascist mobs set an HDP election vehicle on fire. Fascist groups also cornered another HDP minibus in Sanayi neighborhood and lynched the driver Aydın Taşkesen with rocks and sticks. After this, fascists threw Taşkesen’s nearly-dead body back into the minibus and set it on fire. HDP supporters nearby came to Taşkesen’s rescue and took him to Erzurum Regional Training and Research Hospital. Nearby police stood and watched the racist mobs who caused 8 cracks on Taşkesen’s skull and several second-degree burns on his arms, head and torso. Taşkesen is still in a critical condition.
When HDP supporters entered Mahallebaşı neighborhood, the attacks ended but tensions linger in the city. 13 people including DTK Erzurum Representative Bedri Fırat were injured during the racist attacks. HDP set up a crisis desk in its city headquarters as the treatment of injured rally participants continue.
Riot police entered Mahallebaşı neighborhood and began firing teargas canisters at civilians without any warning. HDP city headquarters was a particular target of police teargas.
ANGER AT ERDOĞAN
Despite the provocation attempts, people have managed to keep their calm. AKP and MHP have been held responsible and people are angry at Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his targeting of HDP.
HDP Kars Parliamentarian Mülkiye Birtane criticized the lack of police preparation for the rally despite the provocation threats that had been public for several days. Birtane also criticized the lack of police preparation for the time period after the rally.