Turkish deputy PM slams release of attacker
DHA PhotoTurkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ responded harshly to a court’s decision to release a man that punched him, accusing the prosecutor of “providing strength and encouragement to all attackers” with his decision.
Hüseyin Satı, who was detained after allegedly hitting Bozdağ in the chest during a ceremony to commemorate Alevi-Bektaşi figure Hacı Bektaş Veli in Nevşehir, was released after testifying to court early Aug. 18.
Bozdağ, however, described the attack as “an attack on the government” and slammed the decision which set Satı free.
“Decisions like these don’t rehabilitate attackers. It provides strength and encouragement to all attackers instead,” Bozdağ said.
The deputy prime minister also spoke harshly of opposition members, namely Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, accusing him of stepping outside of “political morality” for neglecting the issue when he took the stand to address the public minutes after the punch.
“What the political party representatives have done is as ugly as the punch itself. It does not fall within the ethics of politics,” Bozdağ said.
“How can the attacker feel guilty? He commits a crime and is treated like a hero. The deputy chairman of the opposition party kisses him on the forehead and show support. The attacker thinks he did the right thing after such a response. The real cause behind that is taking sides. No matter who commits the crime, one should side with rights and law,” Bozdağ said.
Satı, who was identified as a local journalist working in Kahramanmaraş, said: “I have no regrets.”
Before the incident, Bozdağ delivered a speech about Alevi culture and Hacı Bektaş Veli, but was continually booed by many of the attendees, some of whom carried Turkish flags and posters of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
A three-day festival to honor Hacı Bektaş Veli, a 13th-century mystic who is revered by the country’s Alevi community, is hosted in the town that bears his name, Hacıbektaş, every year in mid-August.