A man who attacked the local offices of Turkey’s now defunct pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in 2022, armed with a knife and guns, blamed his attack on a pubertal outburst during court proceedings on Wednesday.
Muhammed Eren Sütçü told the court that he “had no intention to kill”, and that he was “going through a severe puberty at the time”, according to Ceylan Akça, an MP from the HDP’s sister Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party).
Sütçü had two handguns and a 25 cm long knife, and reportedly shouted he “came to kill you all” as he attacked people in the HDP offices. Two party members suffered knife wounds in the attack.
While Sütçü remained in pre-trial detention for several months after he was initially apprehended, he was released in August 2022, and appeals by HDP’s lawyers for the man to remain behind bars as he stands accused of attempted assault with a firearm were rejected by the court.
A few months before Sütçü’s attack, a volunteer was killed in another attack in a local HDP chapter in the Izmir province.
The police investigation dubbed Sütçü “a mere thug”, however, the young man’s social media accounts had photos showing him sitting with the flag and signage of the far right organisation Grey Wolves.
The Grey Wolves and the party they operate under, the Turkish government’s minority partner Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are responsible for various political murders during Turkey’s tumultuous years leading up to and continuing after the 1980 military coup.
The case will continue in June, until which time Sütçü will have to sign in every day at a police station but not face any further consequence including house arrest, despite repeated appeals.