14 people arrested in rival Kurdish groups’ clashes in Turkey’s southeast
DİYARBAKIR – Doğan News AgencyFourteen people have been arrested June 14 in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır, over the killings of four people in clashes on June 9 between rival Kurdish groups.
Three members of the Kurdish-problem focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were killed in clashes on June 9 that erupted after Aytaç Baran, the head of the New Science, Service, Cooperation and Research Association (YENİ İHYA-DER), a pro-Islamic Kurdish association, was shot, while 11 people were also injured.
Out of a total of 22 detainees, 14 suspects were arrested in Diyarbakır after giving their testimonies. Though eight people were released, three of them were released on probation.
One of the 14 arrested suspects was reported to be underage.
Meanwhile, the death toll from an attack on an earlier HDP rally rose to four on June 13, when a 65-year-old died from his wounds.
Severely wounded Ali Türkman succumbed to his injuries in a Diyarbakır hospital. More than 100 more were also wounded.
The toll given by Doğan News Agency does not include a fifth fatality, Ramazan Yıldız, 16, who fell from a tree at the rally in circumstances that remain unclear.
The June 5 attack on an HDP pre-election rally in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır, caused by a bomb stuffed with ball bearings, came two days ahead of the June 7 legislative elections, in which the HDP won 13 percent of the vote and 80 seats. The result was hailed as a historic breakthrough for the Kurdish political force in Turkey.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said one suspect had been arrested over the attack and was currently being investigated for links to militant groups but has given no further details.
The HDP’s co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş this week blamed the attack on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists who have taken swathes of Iraq and Syria on the other side of the Turkish border.
Demirtaş said on June 12 he feared pro-ISIL formations had created “cells” inside Turkey and were waiting for orders to cause “chaos” in the country.