Perpetrators of Tuğluk funeral attack will be punished, Turkish PM says
ANKARAPrime Minister Binali Yıldırım has condemned the attack on the funeral of the jailed Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Aysel Tuğluk’s mother, describing it as “a provocation” and vowing that “the perpetrators will be found.”
“The incident is certainly unacceptable. It is a provocation of some irresponsible people and our governor and minister intervened as soon as possible and handled the situation,” Yıldırım told reporters in Ankara on Sept. 15.
“The Gölbaşı Chief Prosecutor’s office has filed an investigation on the issue. Some people have been detained and some people have been questioned. The perpetrators will be found and the necessary measures will be taken. Nobody should doubt that,” he added.
His comments came after the funeral of the mother of the jailed HDP lawmaker Aysel Tuğluk, Hatun Tuğluk, was attacked in the capital Ankara late on Sept. 13. According to eyewitness reports, a group of around 20-25 people blocked the burial process while chanting anti-Armenian slogans, saying they did not want the body of a “terrorist” in their neighborhood cemetery.
As a result of the attack, the body was exhumed from İncek Cemetery in Ankara’s Gölbaşı and taken to the Eastern Anatolian province of Tunceli on Sept. 14.
Tuğluk, who is currently in jail on terror charges, was attending her mother’s funeral with special permission from the authorities.
“Every citizen in this country has a right to live anywhere they want and to be buried anywhere they want. It is a basic civil right and human right,” Yıldırım said.
Such attacks on funerals “have no place in our culture, religion and tradition ... The struggle against terror is something else. We will never allow provocations that aim to create hostility and try to break our unity,” he said.
Meanwhile, Turkish authorities detained a total of 23 people after nearby security cameras at the scene of the attack were evaluated, but later released 19 of them, private broadcaster NTV reported on Sept. 15.
The police were also searching for another six people over alleged involvement in the attack.
As the investigation is still ongoing, the authorities reportedly determined that the suspects in the case had shouted slogans and interfered in the funeral process verbally, but did not undertake physical action. The charges against the suspects therefore have been initiated regarding a violation of the law on meetings and demonstration.
But after a personal application by Aysel Tuğluk, the investigation charges against the suspects might also include hate crime.