Four dead in armed clashes in Turkey’s southeast

Four dead in armed clashes in Turkey’s southeast

Four dead in armed clashes in Turkey’s southeast

AFP Photo

The death toll has risen to four in the armed clashes following the killing of an pro-Islamic Kurdish association head in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 9.

Aytaç Baran, the head of the New Science, Service, Cooperation and Research Association (YENİ İHYA-DER), died in hospital after an armed assault. Another three were killed in the clashes that erupted in the aftermath, leaving six injured, the Diyarbakır Governorate announced. A total of 18 suspects have also been detained as of June 11.

Abdulgani Orhan, Baran’s lawyer, has pointed the finger at members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), adding that police had warned Baran of a possible armed assault by the PKK and the affiliated Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) four or five days before the June 7 general election.

“I was with Aytaç Baran when he breathed his last. They had laid an ambush on the street near his home. He was shot with two guns four times. The street has seven entrances but all had been blocked. He had been receiving threats, but he said ‘I will not be gone even if I die,’ said Orhan.

“They killed a person who had never harmed anyone, who dedicated his life to charity. Neither the parallel structure nor the intelligence agency did this. There are eyewitnesses and the killers are obvious. May God help Diyarbakır from now on,” he added.

However, the YDG-H, the youth branch of the PKK, denied any responsibility for the killing of Baran via Twitter, denouncing it as a “provocation.”

Meanwhile, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ have issued a statement over the YENİ İHYA-DER assault.

“We express our sadness over the death of YENİ İHYA-DER head Aytaç Baran in Diyarbakır as a result of an armed assault. We openly condemn the assault. Our condolences are with the YENİ İHYA-DER community and his family. May his soul rest in peace. We await those who are responsible for the assault to be revealed in a way that leaves no room for doubt. We wish for no give credit to be given to any understanding that tries to challenge our nation,” the statement read.