Soldiers jostle HDP deputy at site where 34 were killed
DHA photoA deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was manhandled by Turkish soldiers on July 7 in the southeastern district of Uludere, where 34 civilians were killed by the military in 2011, prompting the party to demand the resignation of the interior minister and the local Şırnak governor.
HDP Şırnak deputy Ferhat Encü said soldiers from the army assaulted and pointed a gun at him when he attempted to stand with a group of villagers from Roboski, who were staging protests for the past two days on the grounds that gendarmerie forces were not permitting them to go the meadows around their villages, Doğan News Agency reported.
Roboski, the Kurdish name for Uludere’s Ortasu village, is synonymous with the Roboski Massacre of 2011, when the military killed 34 smugglers on the supposition that they were militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Encü said he had gone to the Şirit meadow, which is located near Roboski, to support the villagers, who were protesting recent pressure by gendarmerie forces, which had “gone as far as slaughtering animals and wounding people.”
“The people of Roboski have been protesting this for the past two days. Today we went to the Şirik high meadow with journalists to observe the border. On the way back, soldiers stopped us. I stepped out of the car, told them I was a lawmaker and said: ‘There is no resistance against you. Why are you pointing guns at us?’ They asked me who I was. I said, ‘I am a lawmaker of Şırnak,’ but a tense dialogue occurred between us [the soldiers and me]. That’s when they pointed a gun at me,” Doğan News Agency reported Encü as saying on July 7.
“You’re not our MP, you’re the MP of traitors and terrorists,” Encü quoted the soldiers as saying.
Encü said he would file a complaint against the soldiers about the incident, while also sharing footage and photos from the battery via his personal Twitter account on July 7 and 8.
Daily Cumhuriyet reported on its website on July 7 that their Diyarbakır reporter Mahmut Oral was among the group to accompany Encü. Cumhuriyet alleged that gendarmerie had shot tear gas at their vehicle and that soldiers had battered and threatened Oral when he wanted to exit the car, even though he informed them that he was a journalist.
Meanwhile, the HDP called on Interior Minister Sebahattin Öztürk and Şırnak Gov. Ali İhsan Su to resign over the attack on Encü.
The law has been suspended in Uludere, and the latest physical attack against Encü by gendarmerie forces has proven that the ongoing wave of provocations and violence in Uludere is “systematic and planned,” the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said.
“We ask for the immediate resignation of the interim interior minister who has lost his impartiality and [Su], who became the instigator by ordering the attacks. We want to once more state that the hostile manners and practices against the people of Roboski, which has long been continuing, needs to cease at once,” said İdris Baluken and Pervin Buldan, the deputy parliamentary group chairs of the HDP, in a written statement released on July 8.
“It is obvious that this concept of attack and violence put into practice is systematic and planned like the Roboski Massacre, which is known to have been committed systematically and planned,” Baluken and Buldan said, arguing that the HDP deputies who have been following the attacks, which have gradually increased in the last month, have been subject to all kinds of pressure and violence in line with instructions from the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
“The last circle of this concept that has been developed on the instructions of the AKP government became concrete with the physical and armed assault against Mr. Ferhat Encü, who lost dozens of his relatives in the Roboski Massacre and who has elected with 85 percent of the votes of the people of Şırnak,” they said.
“The attack committed against our deputy shows clearly the perspective of the AKP state to our people. Surviving this attack without loss of life is thanks to the awareness of our deputy and our people,” the HDP said.
“We call on Parliamentary Speaker [İsmet Yılmaz] to adopt the required attitude about this incident, which we consider as an attack against the parliament’s will and warn the defunct AKP government in the appropriate way,” they said.
Şırnak’s governor previously invited derision after claiming in April that mules that have been systematically shot dead by security forces to prevent smuggling had actually died “due to suicide.”