Kurdish journalist Ruken Tuncel’s sister and mother were targeted in a verbal and physical attack in front of their home in Istanbul, news website Bianet reported.
The attack occurred late on Thursday, when the pair ran into their neighbours on their way back from a bazaar.
The neighbour M.Y. threatened the Tuncel family and accused them of selling drugs and being terrorists. “We are from Trabzon, we will burn you,” the woman said, and spit on sister Sinem Tuncel. M.Y. also threatened to shoot the Tuncels with a shotgun.
The neighbour’s daughter A.Y. came out and attacked the Tuncels, punching Sinem Tuncel on the chin.
The family went to a hospital for treatment and were issued a report on the battery. They also pressed charges against their neighbours.
The attack was a “manifestation of prejudice against Kurds and Alevis”, journalist Ruken Tuncel said. “There is no personal disagreement, we don’t really have any relationship with them. But they have been creating issues and harassing us with baseless accusations. We suspected it was really about our identity, and this attack confirms it.”
Ethnic and religious minorities in the district of Beylikdüzü have been facing increasing racist harassment, the journalist said.
Police visited the Tuncels’ neighbours after midnight to ask for statements, she added.
“It is heartening to see we are not alone and nobody was intimidated. This solidarity is our greatest guarantee,” Tuncel said.