Gun attacks on CHP raise concerns

Gun attacks on CHP raise concerns

Gun attacks on CHP raise concerns Two incidents involving guns on the same day on a member and a building of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) have raised concerns among party members. 

Istanbul’s Avcılar district mayor’s car was hit by a bullet late on Nov. 2 for unknown reasons. Handan Toprak Benli from the CHP said she informed the police on the issue, and said the bullet might have hit her car by accident.

“Because all of us including the driver were outside the car, none of us were hurt,” Benli said, and added that examinations have been made and that an investigation had been launched into the incident.

“There is a possibility that it was done in order to give us a message,” the mayor said. 

In a separate incident, fire was opened on the Istanbul CHP Maltepe Municipality’s Urban Transformation Information Office on Nov. 2. There were no casualties as no one was in the office during the attack, but the office was damaged.

Officials who went to work on Nov. 3 saw bullet holes in the office and informed the police. The police seized the security cameras at the scene for examination. 

“The fact that the attack took place after the incident in Avcılar is noteworthy in terms of timing. The police are carrying out a rigorous examination to shed light on the attack,” said Maltepe Deputy Mayor Melih Morsünbül, and added that it was also attacked when the building was used as an election office. 

“We will follow the incident until we reveal details on the attack,” he added.  

The two incidents came after an attack on CHP deputy leader Bülent Tezcan, who was shot in the western province of Aydın on Oct. 29. The assailant, Alparslan Sargın, was caught in Aydın’s Kuşadası district on the night of the attack. He was arrested on Nov. 2.

“My deputy chair, Bülent Tezcan, was injured by a bullet. Provocations against the CHP will increase … We have to be very careful with the provocations targeting us. We have to be prudent and cautious,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Nov. 1 in a speech to his party group in parliament.

Meanwhile, CHP Secretary General Kamil Oktay Sındır and CHP Istanbul lawmaker Gürsel Tekin have reacted to the incidents, saying the party was being targeted.

“Our party, which consistently defends parliamentary democracy, is being targeted while the presidential system debate is going on,” Sındır told the daily Hürriyet, and added that CHP members will not “fall for provocations.”

“The incidents should be examined and the truth should be told to the public,” Sındır said. 

Similarly, Tekin stressed that “someone is intentionally trying to create chaos.”

“These incidents show that CHP could be attacked in the following days. We are aware that around 20 incidents were managed by a single hand,” he said.