Public outrage was expressed internationally as well as in Turkey over the armed attack in the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP’s) office in Izmir that resulted in the murder of the Kurdish woman Deniz Poyraz, by a far-right gunman called Onur Gencer.
Onur Gencer, who murdered Deniz Poyraz, a member and worker of the Izmir bureau of the HDP on Thursday, said in his official statement at the police station that he “would have shot anyone” in the building that day as he saw “everyone coming in and out of the HDP office” as a target because of his “hatred for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)”.
Following news of Poyraz’s murder, thousands protested in the streets of towns and cities of Turkey, stretching from the Kurdish-majority east to the west of Turkey. Internationally, alongside protests in the UK and Germany, several protests took place in Switzerland, France and Greece over Deniz Poyraz’s murder.
A protest in Bern, Switzerland, organised by the Alliance of Democratic Forces of Bern, was supported by numerous democratic organisations. A placard held aloft during the demonstration read: “Justice and Development Party and Nationalist Movement Party (AKP-MHP) fascism, which targets women, children and civilians, responds to the demand for peace and democracy with massacres.”
Speaking on behalf of the Mizgin Women’s Assembly, Hediye Munzur said, “We will continue Deniz Poyraz’s struggle against the massacres that target women, children and civilians.”
Exiled Kurdish-Alevi politician Demir Çelik, co-chair of the Federation of Democratic Alevis (FEDA), said, “Turkey wanted to cover up its defeat and its failure in the face of the strong resistance of the Kurdish people in its attacks in Kurdistan. This is the main reason why they target the HDP, the only power struggling for democracy and peace in Turkey and Kurdistan today. We will continue the struggle for peace and democracy of our comrade Deniz Poyraz.”
In his speech on behalf of the Alliance of the Democratic Forces of Europe (ADGB), Tuncay Yılmaz said, ”The AKP-MHP try to maintain their existence by attacking the HDP, which does not compromise its struggle for peace and democracy through the support it has of six million people. The Turkish government has once again shown its murderous face.”
”With the murder of our comrade Deniz Poyraz, they sought to prevent the rightful demands of the peoples of Turkey and Kurdistan,” he added. “Today, Turkey continues attacking democratic forces in order to conceal its attack on the civilians in South Kurdistan. We will continue with our struggle against these attacks for peace in Turkey, Kurdistan and the Middle East.”
There were other public protests over the murder of Deniz Poyraz in the cities of Basel, Zurich, Geneva, Winterhur and Bellinzona.
Kurds and others extending their solidarity over what happened organised a demonstration in front of the Turkish Consulate in Athens. The following slogans were chanted: ‘”Martyrs are immortal,” ”Kurdistan will be the grave for fascism,” ”Shoulder by shoulder against fascism” and “Long live leader Apo.”
Protests also took place in the Drancy and Evry suburbs of Paris. Güneş Ardıç, an activist of the Kurdish Women’s Movement in Europe (TJK-E), spoke during the march organised by the Drancy Women’s Council. “This killing is a continuation of the genocide against Kurds and these attacks will not intimidate women, Kurdish people or Kurdish youth,” she said.