First hearing of case for attack on Turkey’s main opposition leader held
The first hearing of a trial involving 36 people tried for attacking Turkey’s main opposition leader at the funeral of a fallen soldier in Ankara’s Çubuk district in 2019 was held on Nov. 30.
One of the defendants, Yunus Karakoç, who is among the accused of being among the mob that attacked Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu at a soldier’s funeral in 2019, said he shouted the slogan: “Martyrs do not die, the homeland is indivisible,” but did not try to hit the politician.
“The reason for the occurrence of this incident is the CHP’s sympathy toward the [Peoples’ Democratic Party] HDP,” Karakoç said in court.
Defendant Güngör Aşık said he did not aim to hit the CHP leader but threw something in anger, which then he realized was a stone.
Defendant Fahrettin Abacı said he did not hold any grudges against Kılıçdaroğlu. “Kılıçdaroğlu is also a statesman. My respect is endless. I had surgery. I went up to the electricity pole to avoid being crushed. I’ve reacted here too. I regret that too. I was also in front of the house, but I just walked around.”
The defendant Sevim Gölyeri said she was not the one that shouted “burn the house,” where Kılıçdaroğlu took shelter after the attack, but the person that used this expression was the mother of the host Rahim Doruk, and after using these words the woman fainted. Gölyeri said that more than one person had said: “Burn the house.”
After the defences, Kılıçdaroğlu’s lawyer Celal Çelik recalled the Madımak massacre in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, stating that his client, Kılıçdaroğlu, was similarly targeted and that the court confirmed “deliberate murder.” He demanded a decision of non-jurisdiction in the case.
On April 21 last year, a group chanted slogans against the outlawed PKK before attacking Kılıçdaroğlu at the funeral of Private Yener Kırıkcı in Çubuk who was among soldiers killed in clashes with the PKK on the Turkish-Iraqi border on April 19.
Camera footage showed the mob trying to punch and kick the politician. A video of the incident showed the CHP leader hit on the head at least twice as several security guards attempted to keep dozens of shouting and fist-pumping men away.
Kılıçdaroğlu was later taken to a house by security members to avoid any further attacks. The group then gathered outside the house chanting “PKK out” and was forced to disperse by security officials. The politician was removed from the house by armored vehicle nearly one hour later before arriving at the CHP headquarters.