Turkish nationalists beat compatriot after presuming him to be Kurdish
Anadolu Agency photo
Amid ongoing terror attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group of Turkish nationalists accidentally beat one of its own members on the presumption that he was Kurdish, Turkish media have reported.
The incident occurred in the southern Turkish province of Adana early Sept. 8, according to daily Cumhuriyet, which quoted local Antalya Agency. Around 200 people convened for a march to protest the PKK but ultimately attacked the local headquarters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which focuses on the Kurdish issue, in the Muratpaşa district, the report said.
After midnight as the demonstration was over, 10 people in the crowd attacked a man at a tram stop “because he had darker skin,” according to the report. An undercover police saved the man from being lynched. The man complained that he was also a member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) from the southern province of Burdur.
“What are you doing? Aren’t your brains working?” the police office said, reprimanding the group, the report added, noting that the victim said he would file a criminal complaint against the group.
This was not the first time that Turkish nationalists confused their target. On July 4, an MHP-linked youth organization attacked a group of Korean tourists in Istanbul, presuming that they were from China, whom they intended to attack in reprisal for Beijing’s alleged rights violations against the Turkic Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
Three days before the attack, a Chinese restaurant in Istanbul was vandalized by ultranationalists, although its owner was a Turk and its cook was an Uighur.
On July 8, MHP chair Devlet Bahçeli raised some eyebrows by saying both Chinese and Koreans “have slanted eyes” in comments that lacked a condemnation of the attacks.
The inability of some MHP supporters to tell apart ethnic features have been mocked on Turkish social media since then.