The burial of the mother jailed Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy co-chair Aysel Tuğluk was attacked by a group chanting racist slogans in the capital Ankara
late on Sept. 13, temporarily preventing the burial from taking place.
An investigation has been opened by the Interior Ministry into the incident, which has drawn condemnation across the political spectrum.
The body of Hatun Tuğluk had been taken to the İncek cemetery in Ankara’s Gölbaşı district after a funeral ceremony at a cemevi, an Alevi
house of worship, in the Batıkent district.
Tuğluk, who is currently in jail on terror charges, was attending her mother’s funeral with special permission from the authorities and was accompanied by gendarmerie forces. HDP co-chair Serpil Kemalbay, HDP spokesperson Osman Baydemir, former Mardin co-mayor Ahmet Türk, and a number of HDP lawmakers also attended the funeral.
During the burial process, a group of around 20-25 people appeared on the scene to block the burial process, chanting anti-Armenian slogans and saying they did not want the body of a “terrorist” in the cemetery in their neighborhood.
As the group grew in number, police intervened to prevent a larger attack.
Governor’s Office issued a statement saying Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu arrived at the scene immediately, checking security precautions at the cemetery and telling the family of Tuğluk that all necessary measurements would be taken for the burial.
The statement added that the burial process would continue according to the decision of the family and said an investigation had been opened into the incident.
Soylu also said a necessary administrative and judicial investigation has been launched, while related detention proceedings have also been initiated.
“After arriving on the scene on Wednesday, we expressed our condolences over the incident and told the family that they could bury the remains of their mother there. But after the incident the family wanted to transfer the body to Tunceli,” he added.
Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın condemned the incident, describing it as “inhuman.”
“On behalf of the presidency, I would like to express that we condemn this incident in the clearest way. It is not possible to accept this inhuman attitude. This is an ugly approach that never matches our beliefs, values, culture and values of civilization,” Kalın said
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also condemned the attack, vowing that those responsible would give an account in front of the judiciary.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Bozdağ also said the Tuğluk family had decided to abandon the burial in Ankara.
Earlier media reports had stated that the body of Tuğluk’s mother was taken from the grave following the group’s attack. But the family now reportedly plans to bury Hatun Tuğluk in the eastern province of Tunceli.
“It is not possible to accept [the attack]. It is behavior that does not befit our traditions or our religion. We cannot accept it. A group of 20-25 people did this and our police removed them from the scene. The family has now decided not to continue the burial there,” Bozdağ said.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
also condemned the attack and made a phone call to Tuğluk’s brother.
“It is not possible to approve the incident. It is not possible to have such a situation in our customs and traditions. We are very saddened that such an incident happened. I wish my condolences,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a phone conversation with Alaattin Tuğluk.