Alleged harassment of Kurdish political refugees by Turkish intelligence (MİT) in Erbil (Hewlêr), Iraqi Kurdistan, prompted Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) to call for intervention by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
🔴 Turkish intelligence (MİT) are alleged to target Kurdish political figures in Erbil (Hewlêr), Iraqi Kurdistan, and Kurdish political activists seeking refuge in the region. #MedyaNewshttps://t.co/bLAoE8nlrJ pic.twitter.com/SShux9l6Hd
— MedyaNews (@medyanews_) November 7, 2023
During a press conference in Erbil on Tuesday, HEDEP MP Beritan Güneş called on the KRG to take definitive measures in response to what she characterised as intimidation tactics by MİT aimed at the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) members and supporters in Erbil.
Güneş disclosed surveillance incidents and attempted armed assaults directed at the HDP’s Erbil office on 29 October, emphasising the urgent need for KRG intervention.
The call for action by Beritan Güneş comes in the wake of a series of targeted attacks that have raised the spectre of extrajudicial violence against Kurdish activists and political figures within the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The assassination of Nagihan Akarsel, a prominent Kurdish feminist scholar, along with the killings of other Kurdish activists such as Hüseyin Arasan, Yasin Bulut, Ferhat Barış Kondu and Mehmet Zeki Çelebi, have underscored the perilous situation for those who have sought refuge from persecution. These incidents, suspected to be the work of Turkish intelligence, have not been followed by comprehensive investigations.
The pattern of targeted violence and the apparent impunity with which it is carried out intensified the urgency of Güneş’s demands. “The HDP is engaged in a legitimate and democratic struggle for Kurdish rights across all parts of Kurdistan,” Güneş asserted, calling for the KRG to uphold its duty to protect those under its governance.
Güneş’s appeal also extended to international bodies. She implored the United Nations and human rights organisations to not turn a blind eye to the plight of Kurdish political refugees facing potential threats to their safety.