Boy killed amid latest politically fueled violence in Istanbul
İbrahim Öksüz was the first victim of the violence between the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Halk Cephesi (People’s Front) that has escalated throughout the week.
A boy was shot dead late July 31 in the flashpoint Istanbul neighborhood of Gazi in the latest act of violence to hit mostly Alevi and Kurdish neighborhoods around the city following tension between the supporters of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Halk Cephesi (People’s Front) members.
İbrahim Öksüz was returning home from a textile
workshop where he worked when he was struck by a bullet, according to daily
Hürriyet. There were conflicting reports as to whether Öksüz was 14 or 16 years old.
"I want [justice] for the blood of my son. I want the killer of my son to be found," Öksüz's father, Arif Öksüz, told Doğan News Agency.
A multi-sided fight reportedly continued after the shooting, with witnesses noting that police were attempting to quell the HDP-People’s Front violence with force, prompting responses from the two groups as they battled each other.
The People’s Front, associated with the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), has been blamed for the shooting, but the group claimed it was not responsible, blaming drug gangs that are known to operate in such neighborhoods instead. At the same time, it also published a rebuke of "Kurdish nationalists" for their past attacks against leftists.
The HDP declared the killing to be a
“provocation,” while residents of Gazi said HDP and People’s Front leaders, cemevis, neighborhood headmen, political parties and other NGOs must immediately
establish a peace committee to halt the clashes.
Violence began earlier this week in the Nurtepe neighborhood of Kağıthane, Istanbul, when an argument between members of the People’s Front and the HDP over the latter’s campaign stand for presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş escalated into fighting that soon spread to neighborhoods around the city.
Incidents spread throughout the week in districts considered as bastions of the DHKP/C, including the Okmeydanı and Gazi neighborhoods, where the group reportedly prevented HDP from campaigning for the presidential elections.
The HDP released a statement after the killing, demanding that the People’s Front "immediately halt provocations and escalations of violence."