A number of Kurdish university students in Turkey’s south central city of Karaman have been forced to leave the city after being subjected to a violent attack by a racist group for listening to Kurdish music, Özgür Politika reported on Sunday.
A statement issued by the Diyarbakır (Amed) Bar Association on 7 April revealed that a group of students at Karamanoğlu Mehmet Bey University in Karaman had been targeted in a violent attack on 1 April, a day after they had met to listen to music and dance.
The incident took place after the gathering of the group in a student dormitory, where the Kurdish students reportedly listened to Kurdish music and performed traditional dances.
The next day, some of the Kurdish students were forcibly dragged into a warehouse and beaten by an extreme right-wing group who also seized the mobile phones of the victims and made some of the Kurdish students post social media messages, that read:
“We apologise and beg forgiveness from the Sacred Turkish People and from the University Idealists*, to whom the university actually belongs, for wantonly performing the Kurdish halay dance last night.”
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu lodged an application for parliamentary inquiry, and addressed the MPs in the Turkish parliament, saying:
“A group of Grey Wolves* attacked and beat a group of Kurdish students for singing Kurdish songs and performing the halay. Unfortunately a number of students were forced to leave the university. They were declared traitors, they were beaten up and they returned to their home towns. I spoke to one of the students yesterday. I asked him why he returned to Diyarbakır. He said: ‘I can’t go back to Karaman. They threatened us and forced us to post an apology on Instagram.'”
* The name Ülkücüler (Idealists) is ironically another name that the extreme right-wing Turkish organisation the Grey Wolves, responsible for thousands of assassinations and many massacres during 1970s and since, like to use to refer to themselves.