Clash between pro-Hizbullah, pro-HDP groups ends with two deaths in Turkey
In Şırnak, the latest fight reportedly broke out after HDP members came to the Kozluca village to hang party flags, which Hüda-Par members opposed. Muhammed Şerif Şimşek (34) and Abdulcelil Talayhan (38) died at a hospital in neighboring Mardin province.Two suspects have been detained after two members of Islamist and pro-Kurdish Free Cause Party (Hüda-Par) were killed on May 29 in Turkey's southeastern Şırnak province, local officials have said.
The deaths occurred after Hüda-Par members had an altercation in Şırnak’s Kozluca village with supporters of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which also has a broad base among Kurdish voters, according to Anadolu Agency.
Şırnak Governor's Office has issued a written statement, saying two people thought to be HDP members opened fire on two Hüda-Par supporters, who later died at hospital.
A gun has been recovered at the scene and an investigation by the public prosecutor is under way, the statement added.
Tensions remain high in Kozluca village, with gendarmerie forces deployed and entry into the village restricted.
A number of Turkish media outlets describe Hüda-Par as an affiliate of Turkey’s Hizbullah.
Members of Hüda-Par had clashed with the supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in October 2014 during protests across Turkey against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), killing scores of people.
While the PKK, and the HDP that shares a similar grassroots base with it, have left-wing ideologies, while Hizbullah and Hüda-Par are described as Islamists.
Witnesses told Anadolu Agency that the latest fight broke out after HDP members came to Kozluca to hang party flags, which Hüda-Par members opposed.
In the brawl that ensued, gunshots were reported from a group of HDP members at the scene, critically injuring Muhammed Şerif Şimşek (34) and Abdulcelil Talayhan (38). Both died later at a hospital in neighboring Mardin province.
The deadly incident comes as Turkey gears up for the general election on June 7.
Approximately 56 million Turkish citizens are eligible to vote in the country's 25th parliamentary election to choose 550 lawmakers.