An armed assailant in Istanbul, Turkey, made a failed attempt to storm an office of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and was detained only as the police arrived after a long wait. While two individuals were slightly injured during the scuffle between the assailant and some party members, it was the jamming of the assailant’s gun that reportedly prevented fatal consequences.
Ramazan Dişarı, a party member who was slightly injured, explained about the moments of the attack following the incident on Tuesday. He said that after the man entered the office claiming that he wanted to talk about the membership process he was offered a cup of tea. But then he suddenly threw away the cup, pulled out a gun and said he was there to kill them. He was instantly distracted as someone opened the door behind him.
“The man turned to confront him, and I hit him with a chair,” Dişarı said. “He then ran down the stairs after I hit him in the head with the chair. We caught him on the second floor. We grabbed his other gun as well. It didn’t go off. It must have been jammed. He tried pulling the trigger a couple of times.”
Dişarı went on to explain how there was no response from the police although there have always regularly been many undercover police officers present around the building.
“He ran into the bakery at the corner. I shouted out for police. I knew there were officers all around. Even when I sit at the nearby tea room to have a cup of tea, I always feel the gun of an officer sitting next to me rubbing against my waist. I went on calling for the police but there was no response.”
The armed assailant was later identified as a Muhammed Eren Sütçü.
A large crowd of HDP supporters gathered around the party office after the attempted assault, as a party official addressed the crowd.
“Just as we’ve resisted such attacks and intimidation operations before, we’ll continue to do so in the future,” she affirmed.
The HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar later arrived at the scene and made a speech, emphasising that the attack wasn’t just an isolated incident.
“The political administration and their representatives, the hate discourse that they use all the time is the real cause of such attacks,” he said.
“They are afraid of the HDP. They continue targeting us with new allegations every day. Everyone must rest assured that we will thwart their policies. The administration officials and particularly the minister of interior are politically responsible for such attacks, and they’ll definitely be held accountable.”
An HDP member, Deniz Poyraz was killed by an armed assailant in an attack at the İzmir office of HDP on 17 June 2021.