Mehmet Laçin, who had been involved in a vigil in front of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Provincial Building in Izmir – claiming that his daughter had been ‘taken to the mountains’ by the HDP – reportedly planned to issue a statement today as he intended to set up a tent in front of the party’s headquarters in Ankara.
However, HDP members reacted strongly to his initiative. Some have asserted that Laçin was one of the people who was jointly ‘responsible’ for the murder of Deniz Poyraz, a Kurdish woman and HDP member who was killed in an armed attack against the HDP’s office in İzmir on 17 June.
Mesopotamia News Agency (MA) reported that Büklüm Street, where the HDP party building is located, was blockaded by the police early this morning. The party’s deputies had gathered at the party’s building to meet to discuss an HDP declaration that was to be made on 27 September.
Police demanded that the vehicles in the street were to be removed for Laçin, a space for him to set up his vigil was to be set aside in front of the building and that deputies were to enter the building. Reacting to this situation, deputies protested, reportedly saying, “You cannot bring in the killers of Deniz Poyraz. This man was a watchman when Deniz Poyraz was murdered. The police are protecting him.”
Mehmet Laçin had been present in front of the HDP building in Izmir when Deniz Poyraz was murdered by an assassin and Laçin had spoken to media platforms and outlets close to the government soon after her assassination, blaming HDP executives for her murder.
There has been an ongoing vigil since 2019 in front of the HDP building in Diyarbakir (Amed) by families of young people who joined the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Those participating in the vigil have alleged that their relatives joined the PKK after having been forced to do so by the HDP. The HDP stringently denies the basis of the accusations.
Mehmet Laçin is one of the people who had been protesting against the HDP for taking children to the mountains. He had been participating in the vigil in Izmir but on 13 September had announced that he would walk to Ankara and continue his vigil in front of Ankara’s HDP headquarters building.
Reports by a number of political commentators have suggested that these vigils have been deliberately organised by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to criminalise the HDP by accusing it of forcing Kurdish youth to join the PKK. The HDP has repeatedly issued statements that it has no links to these young people who joined the PKK. It warned the public that this was a propaganda campaign against the party, aimed at smearing and criminalising it.