A Green and Left Party campaign vehicle was attacked by a group of ultra-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) members on Friday while conducting an election campaign in the Tarsus district of Turkey’s southern city Mersin, reported Mezopotamya News Agency (MA).
The racist group attacked the vehicle with knives and sticks, injuring five party workers and shattering the windows and tyres of the vehicle. The incident reportedly took place on Atatürk Street in Yenimahalle, where the campaign vehicle was waiting at a red light and was blocked by the group of about 20 MHP members.
The party workers were verbally abused and harassed before being physically attacked by the group, who then used knives and sticks to damage the vehicle. Despite the presence of police officers in the area, the attack was not intervened in any way according to the MA. The injured party workers were taken to the hospital for treatment, while one among them was kept under observation.
The Green Left Party has condemned the racist attack and stated that it is a deliberate attempt to intimidate the party and prevent them from conducting their election campaign. The party has also criticised the police for failing to take action and protect them from the attack.
The recent attack on the Green Left Party’s campaign vehicle in Mersin is the latest example of a disturbing trend of violence and intimidation against opposition parties and their supporters ahead of the upcoming presidential elections in Turkey, scheduled to take place on 14 May.
The incident occurred on the same day as an attack on the opposition Nation Alliance’s joint vice-presidential candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu’s rally in Erzurum. İmamoğlu was forced to end his speech and leave the rally ground due to a group of 200 government supporters attacking his rally with stones while the police present at the scene did nothing.