HDP complains of no suspects in seven killings in Turkey’s Cizre town
AA PhotoPeoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş has slammed the fact that the authorities have yet to identify any suspects regarding the seven recent killings in the restive town of Cizre in the southeastern province of Şırnak, which has been roiled by protests for the past month.
Speaking to journalists in Vienna after meeting the representatives of political parties in Austria, Demirtaş said it was “not fair” to blame the HDP for the recent unrest in Cizre, which has seen clashes between supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and supporters of the outlawed Islamist Kurdish movement Hizbullah’s legal political extension, the Free Cause Party (Hüda-Par).
“At the end of the day, the basic task of the government is to find out who is responsible and to hand them over to the judiciary. This is not our duty. There have been seven killings and not a single suspect,” he said.
“It is not fair to blame the HDP for these killings, it’s not right,” Demirtaş added, suggesting that only “more democratic measures, not armed interventions,” would cool down incidents in the town.
“We too will do all we can,” he vowed.
The HDP co-leader also stressed that their addressee in the issue was not President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but rather the government, according to the constitution.
“It will be a healthier process for us and for the president himself if he maintains the objectivity of his post,” he said.
Erdoğan suggested on Jan. 20 that there was a “plot” behind the ongoing unrest in Cizre, located near the border with Syria and Iraq, where tension most recently peaked after a 12-year-old boy was shot on Jan. 14.
The president hinted that sympathizers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen in the Turkish police may be responsible for this “plot.”
“Today, we are aware of the incident that is being attempted to be carried out in Cizre and we are taking our measures accordingly … Can you imagine those who are wearing formal dresses of this state and those who place bombs in the street using the state’s armored vehicles?” Erdoğan said, in reference to three police officers who have been suspended after being charged with placing explosives on the roads in the Southeastern Anatolian province of Hakkari on Jan. 15.
HDP co-chair Demirtaş strictly denied any links between the Gülenists and the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), a youth branch of the PKK, saying that appointments to the region are “not made by Gülen, but by Interior Minister Efkan Ala.”
Gov’t inspecting ‘dark hands’
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan has said “provocateurs” were seeking to “turn Cizre into Kobane,” referring to a Syrian city on the border where clashes between Kurdish forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been continuing for months.
“Dark hands were involved there … We have observed that they were involved in open provocations, so related investigations are ongoing,” Akdoğan said on Jan. 22 during a televised interview on Ülke TV.
“Consider this: Some in the police [department] are acting under directions by from the judge or the prosecutor but from a civil imam [religious authority]. This is not administrative guilt, but an organized crime,” he added, in an indirect reference to Gülen.