PKK kills village grocer: Turkish officials
Mevlüt Bengi (C) and his children
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is thought to be behind the killing of a grocer in the eastern Turkish province of Ağrı, Turkish officials told state-run Anadolu Agency, while a leading Kurdish politician claimed that she was threatened by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu over the killing.
The dead body of 45-year-old Mevlüt Bengi was found on June 26 tied from his hands to a utility pole in the Çiftlik village in the Doğubeyazıt district of the province of Ağrı after he had been shot in the head.
“He was killed because he has been a state agent since 2015,” read the note next to the body found by gendarmarie forces.
According to state-run Anadolu Agency, the prosecutor’s office launched an investigation to arrest the killers as initial findings showed they were members of the PKK, which was designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Bengi, who owns a grocery store at the Turkmen village, was commissioned as a voting center representative for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The AKP had commissioned another representative at the local voting center after Bengi failed to show up on June 24.
Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Pervin Buldan said on June 27 that Soylu called her and blamed the HDP for the killing.
“He told me ridiculous things on the phone, like we ‘have no right to live anymore’ and that they would ‘completely destroy that village’,” Buldan said.
Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu and İYİ Party deputy chair Lütfü Türkkan also condemned the killing on June 27.