Three injured in gun assault at funeral in Gaziantep cemevi

Three injured in gun assault at funeral in Gaziantep cemevi

GAZİANTEP – Doğan News Agency
Three injured in gun assault at funeral in Gaziantep cemevi

Members of Alevi associations accused the assailants of firing on a vehicle to be misleading. AA Photo

Unidentified assailants opened fire injuring three people during a funeral procession at a cemevi, in the southeastern Gaziantep province on June 10. The Alevi community labeled the latest assault targeting their worship place as a “planned attack.”

The attackers were carrying hunting rifles and opened fire from a bike on a large crowd that gathered for the funeral of Mehmet Ali Topal.

Yılmaz Demirdelen, the local head of the Alevi Cultural Association, said the attack took place as mourners where preparing to go to the cemetery following the procession at the cemevi.

“According to the information we received, the incident happened when two people on a bike directly opened fire at people with a hunting rifle as the crowd was taking the bus to head to the cemetery,” Demirdelen added, indicating some witnesses claimed there was a second bike involved in the attack.

“[They] also opened fire at another vehicle in order to be misleading,” Demirdelen added. He also described the incident as a “planned attack,” claiming some groups are trying to raise sectarian tension.

“Since the Gezi resistance and the [incidents] in [Istanbul’s] Okmeydanı neighborhood, they have been trying to draw Alevi citizens into a fight. This is an entirely planned scenario, but our Alevi citizens will keep calm,” he said.

A 30-year-old Alevi, Uğur Kurt, was shot by a stray police bullet during a funeral procession on May 23 at a cemevi in Okmeydanı, one of Istanbul’s most sensitive neighborhoods with a large Alevi community.
Another man, Ayhan Yılmaz, was also killed as police cracked down on demonstrators overnight.