Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP) Istanbul branch has pressed charges relating to the break-in to the party offices on 1 May, it announced in a statement on Thursday.
An unidentified man entered the empty party building after talking to two policemen who appeared to keep watch for him. He stayed inside for seven minutes. After he left, a police officer stepped out of a vehicle with no licence plate and spoke with the first two officers, according to HDP Istanbul Co-chair Ferhat Encü, who also said the man may have been armed.
On Tuesday, nine days after the incident, the Istanbul Police Directorate said the man identified with initials A.Ş. had been detained.
According to the police statement, relayed by state-run Anadolu Agency, A.Ş. had entered the building to “rest and use the restrooms following May Day celebrations in the Beyoğlu district”.
The directorate denied any involvement between A.Ş. and the police officers, and implied ties with the HDP in their statement.
A.Ş.’s sister-in-law was killed by Turkish security forces last year, the directorate said, and the man’s brother-in-law was allegedly arrested on terrorism charges.
In the Thursday statement, the HDP also said A.Ş. had contacted the party. The party did not disclose what A.Ş. said.
“Considering the attacks on our headquarters, branch offices and volunteers that have be going on for a long time, we are suspicious of this situation,” HDP said. “As the HDP faces all manner of continued attacks, our careful attention is due to the responsibility we hold. This is a priority for us, whatever happens. We call on those who criminalise the will of the people that we represent to come to the basis of democratic politics, rule of law, and universal rights and freedoms.”
HDP lawyers Ferdi Yamar and Vedat Çağrıtekin filed charges against the suspect and the police officers, according to Yeni Yaşam newspaper.
The lawyers called for an examination of security cameras in the area, and said one of the officers had left the scene holding a cardboard box.
In June last year, HDP suffered an attack on its Izmir offices where party volunteer Deniz Poyraz was shot to death. Last week, a high-ranking police chief from the Ankara Directorate threatened to “nail to the wall” Kurdish MP Ayşe Acar Başaran in Ankara.