Nacho Sánchez Amor, member of the European Parliament (EP) and the EP’s Standing Rapporteur on Turkey, condemned the aggressions by the Turkish police against the officials of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Thursday in a televised incident of provocation in front of the party’s headquarters in Turkish capital Ankara.
Nacho Sánchez Amor tweeted on Friday:
“The harassment & attacks from the police suffered yesterday by opposition party @HDPgenelmerkezi, affecting MPs & board members at their headquarters in Ankara, are unacceptable & speak volumes about the dire state of democratic principles in #Turkey. Bad omen for the near future.”
While three individuals staged a protest in front of HDP headquarters on Thursday, claiming that their children were abducted and forced to join the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) ranks to fight against Turkish forces, an attempt to place a wreath at the entrance of the headquarters sparked a scuffle as some HDP officials reportedly tried to prevent it.
Mainstream TV outlets immediately began to broadcast at the scene, and the live broadcasts abruptly came to an end only when a group of HDP members started chanting slogans, and the broadcasters apparently didn’t want them to be heard by the audience.
‘The Ministry of Crime and Propaganda’
Ayşe Acar Başaran, spokesperson for the Women’s Assembly of the HDP, said to Seda Taşkın of +Gerçek on Friday:
“Yesterday they tried to stage a provocation in front of our headquarters by bringing there three individuals, allegedly representatives of some families. Since the very beginning, the entire government media have been turning the incident upside down in their broadcasts. So I’d like to make a correction now. It wasn’t the representatives of the familes who came in front of our headquarters yesterday; it was the Ankara Police Department. It was the Turkish interior minister. It was the AKP-MHP alliance [the ruling alliance of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)] (…) It was the police who placed the black wreath at our headquarters, not some families. Yesterday’s provocation was planned by the Ministry of the Interior. And let me say that it’s not actually the Ministry of the Interior, but the Ministry of Crime, the Ministry of Propaganda.”
During the incident a police officer was heard saying to Başaran, “I swear I’ll nail you!”
A delegation of the Human Rights Associaton (İHD) of Turkey visited HDP headquarters on Friday to express their solidarity. The co-chair of İHD, Öztürk Türkdoğan, said:
“This incident is a last reminder that Turkey has spiraled out of control. The political administration should cease its policies of conflict (…) Such aggressions can be stopped only through solidarity. The opposition must implement its own strategy in the face of the administration’s strategy of tension. The HDP constitutes the main political dynamics of Turkey. It is an alliance for democracy. The attempts at harassing and weakening the third largest political alliance in Turkey through such tactics are unacceptable.”