Turkish Deputy PM Bozdağ attacked by local journalist
NEVŞEHİR – Doğan News Agency
A protester attempting to attack Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ was stopped by security forces at a ceremony he attended today to commemorate Alevi figure Hacı Bektaş Veli in Nevşehir. AA photoA protester attacked Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ and was immediately stopped by security forces at a ceremony he attended today to commemorate Alevi - Bektaşi figure Hacı Bektaş Veli in Nevşehir.
The protester, who hit Bozdağ in the chest, was identified as Hüseyin Satı, a local journalist. Satı was detained by police after his attempted move failed.
“How dare you to come here,” Satı shouted before trying to punch Bozdağ.
“After my speech, I was subjected to a person who I believe has no interest in Hacı Bektaş Veli’s understanding of love, peace and friendship,” Bozdağ said. “It is nothing to do with our Alevi friends. Everybody was disturbed by the incident. I believe it was somebody who tried a provocation in this beautiful atmosphere.”
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who was delivering a speech after Bozdağ, condemned the attack.
“Let’s not forget Hacı Bektaş Veli’s words: ‘Don’t hurt even if you’re hurt,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “In Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli’s place, there is no fury but love.”
Before the incident, Bozdağ delivered a speech about Alevi culture and Hacı Bektaş Veli, but was continually protested by many of the attendees, some of whom carried Turkish flags and posters of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
The crowd also chanted “everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance,” one of the main slogans from the Gezi Park protests, which began May 31.
A three-day festival to honor Hacı Bektaş Veli is hosted in the town that bears his name, Hacıbektaş, every year in mid-August.
“The Hacı Bektaş Veli commemoration activities help us understand him better and aid our walk on his enlightened way, which started centuries ago,” Bozdağ said amid boos.
Bozdağ also said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was working to meet the demands of Alevis, which were set to be announced soon.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu then gave a speech, noting the mystical figure’s famous maxim “Even if you are hurt, do not hurt anyone.”
Bozdağ left the ceremony after Kılıçdaroğlu’s speech was completed.
Hacı Bektaş Veli was a 13th-century mystic who is revered by the country’s Alevi community.