Tensions rise across Turkey ahead of June 7 election

Tensions rise across Turkey ahead of June 7 election

Tensions rise across Turkey ahead of June 7 election

Cihan Photo

Tensions between the country’s political parties were on the rise across Turkey on May 3, with just over one month until the June 7 parliamentary elections. 

Members of both the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were detained in Turkey’s southern province of Van’s Başkale district, for reacting to a group of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members who were in the district as part of their election campaign, Doğan News Agency reported.

The AKP provincial head for Van, Zahir Soğanda, and the AKP’s nominee for the upcoming elections from the province, Faruk Alparslan, went to Başkale on May 3 for their election campaign, where they were interrupted by members of the DBP and the HDP. The DBP-HDP group asked the two AKP members to leave the district while they were inside a bakery handing out flyers. Police intervened when the issue began to grow larger and the two members of the AKP left the district. 

Police detained four people, including DBP district head Senar Yeşilırmak, over the incident. 

On the same day, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) members in the Black Sea province of Rize’s Fındıklı district attempted to attack the election bureau of the HDP, Doğan News Agency reported. 

Members of the MHP and the Grey Wolves, the MHP’s youth organization, marched on the occasion of Turkism Day in Fındıklı, during which they chanted slogans against the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, while they were passing before the pro-Kurdish HDP’s election office. Members of the HDP responded to the MHP members with slogans. 

A brawl started between police and a group of MHP members, who wanted to storm into the HDP’s office. Some MHP members set the HDP’s flag on fire, while police took greater security measures in front of the HDP’s office. 

Also on May 3, in Turkey’s western province of Bursa’s Mudanya district, a group of MHP members protested the opening of an HDP election bureau, which was located in the building next to the MHP’s office, Doğan News Agency reported.

MHP Mudanya head Yüksel Kesen and a group of party members protested the opening. 

Anti-riot police built up a barricade between the members of the two parties, while a small brawl took place between the groups. 

Meanwhile, a van used to pick up Abdullah Bayram, an MHP candidate in the southern province of Siirt, was attacked by unknown assailants with stones, breaking the van’s back window, the Anadolu Agency reported.