Father of HDP rally bombings suspect speaks out

Father of HDP rally bombings suspect speaks out

Father of HDP rally bombings suspect speaks out

People look at smoke from an explosion which injured several people during a rally by the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) on June 5, 2015 in Diyarbakır, two days ahead of legislative polls. AFP Photo

The father of the suspect arrested over the charge of leading the twin blasts at the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır has spoken out on how his son had been deceived to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), news website Radikal reported on June 15.

The family of the suspect, an Alevi-Kurdish man identified as O.G., made multiple attempts to break their son’s ties with ISIL, including an endeavor to meet with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu as well as an attempt to cross over the Turkish-Syrian border to bring their son back.

The HDP rally bombing suspect had decided to go to Syria after he was inspired by the ideology of a person identified as M.G.D., who at the time had just been back to the southeastern province of Adıyaman after traveling to Syria.

M.G.D traveled to Syria with his twin brother, identified as Ö.D., to join the jihadist group, according to a report published by Radikal on Sept. 29, 2013. 

O.G., M.G.D and three others went to Syria on Oct. 13, 2014, shortly after regional unrest following protests over the Turkish government’s perceived inaction toward the jihadists’ siege of Kobane soared on Oct. 6 and 7, 2014.

O.G.’s father said he doubted the attitudes of his son in early October last year and that O.G. associated with strange people, one of whom he said was M.G.D. 

He personally contacted the Adıyaman Police Department, as he thought his son was going to Syria, he said. 

“The police took my son’s testimony and released him,” he said. 

His father said O.G disappeared on Oct. 13, 2014, and one of those who had gone with him had left a letter saying they had gone to Syria. 

“I contacted the police the same day, but got no response,” O.G.’s father said.

“We weighed what we can do as families whose children had gone to Syria.” he said. 

“We heard PM Davutoğlu was attending a local meeting of the Justice and Development Party [AKP] and my wife pleaded with him to bring our son back. The police told us my son joined ISIL three months after we talked with Davutoğlu,” he said.

O.G.’s father also said he had received a phone call from his son and asked his son where he was. “My son phoned us after he left. I asked him where he was. He only said ‘Pray for me’ and hung up,” he said. 

“I called the number back and an Arabic speaking person told me they were in Tel Abyad,” he said. 

He then attempted to go to the Syrian town of Tel Abyad in a bid to bring his son back, but was not able to cut through the border between the Turkish town of Akçakale and Tel Abyad, he added.

The father also expressed his condolences for the friends and family of those who lost their lives in the HDP twin bombings. “Our family has been targeted because we are Alevi-Kurds. We had no information that our son was going to do such a thing… We condemn this attack. All those died are my children,” he said.

The twin blasts at the HDP’s pre-election rally on June 5 in Diyarbakır left at least four people dead and more than 100 others injured two days before Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary election, in which the HDP scored a major breakthrough.