Nationwide demonstrations have been held in Turkey to protest recent terrorist acts, following calls from far-right organizations, while several of them turned violent on Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) buildings in many cities, including Ankara.
The HDP headquarters in Turkey’s capital of Ankara
as well as local party buildings across the country have been attacked in demonstrations, protesting the killings of security personnel in outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK) attacks in the country’s east and southeast.
Thousands of protesters waving Turkish flags, including Nationalist Movement Party Deputy Group Chair Oktay Vural, Idealist Hearths Head Olcay Kılavuz and MHP Ankara
Provincial Head Baki Çetinkaya, staged a demonstration in Ankara
on Sept. 8 upon a call for protest by Idealist Hearths (“Ülkü Ocakları” in Turkish), a far-right organization with purportedly close links to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Kılavuz said large numbers of police officers and soldiers had been killed in a spate of “cowardly attacks” since July 20, a markedly momentous date in recent Turkish history with a deadly bomb attack, which the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levent (ISIL) claimed responsibility for, that left dozens dead and over 100 others injured in the southeastern town of Suruç.
Around 50 protesters marched toward Ankara’s HDP headquarters to enter the building, but faced a police barricade at the entry and exit of the street where the headquarters is located.
Several protesters who escaped the barricade hurled stones at the building, smashed the HDP banner at its entry and hoisted a Turkish flag on HDP’s flag pole after police officers fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.
In protests staged in the central Anatolian province of Kırşehir, four workplaces owned by Kurdish people were burnt and 13 offices owned by Kurds were smashed. Some 30 suspects were detained for violent acts in the central Turkish city.
In a march staged in the northwestern province of Balıkesir in protest against attacks on soldiers in the eastern province of Iğdır and the southeastern province of Hakkari, a large number of protesters hurled stones at HDP’s building in Balıkesir’s Burhaniye district, smashing the building’s windows. A police officer was injured in the incident.
In a march in the western province of Manisa, hundreds of protesters hurled stones at HDP’s building in the Salihli district following a funeral of a soldier killed in Sept. 6’s deadly roadside bomb attack in Hakkari’s Dağlıca district.
In a march staged by a thousand protesters in Istanbul’s Maltepe district, a group attempted to enter a HDP Maltepe building but faced a police barricade. The group, however, did beat a person who chanted slogans that cited Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed PKK.
In a protest staged in the southern province of Mersin, thousands of protestors marched, waving Turkish flags. A group of them hurled stones at HDP’s provincial building, smashing it. Three police officers were injured in the incidents.
In the Mediterranean province of Antalya, protesters set a HDP building ablaze in Antalya’s Alanya district, along with an office owned by a Kurdish man.
In a separate protest in the central Anatolian province of Konya, much was set on fire in a HDP building and several protesters placed a Turkish flag on the party’s flag pole.