As Turkey’s local elections loom, the Turkish police conducted a raid on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) offices in the Kurdish majority city of Diyarbakir, located in southeastern Turkey on Friday. Seven MPs were detained.
The detained HDP members were on a hunger strike in solidarity with MP Leyla Guven, who has been on a hunger strike for more than four months. Guven is protesting the terms of isolation implemented on Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Süleyman Soylu'nun hedef göstermesinin ardından HDP Diyarbakır İl Binası'na yapılan polis baskınında milletvekilleri Tayip Temel ve Murat Sarıç’ın direnme anları ortaya çıktı: İndir o silahını!https://t.co/wuR7MNUKHZ pic.twitter.com/Gi9oUFE6b6
— Artı Gerçek (@artigercek) March 9, 2019
The news portal Artigercek published a video of the police raid that showed the violent conduct of the law enforcement officers who stormed the building wearing masks, and carrying rifles and shields. The police wounded three HDP MPs using rubber bullets during the raid, according to Artigercek.
The camera footage shows two HDP MPs, Tayip Temel, and Murat Sarisac, resisting the use of force by the police. A bearded, bald police chief is seen kicking an HDP MP in the video, while others are hitting the MPs with their riot shields.
HDP MP Musa Farisogullari issued a statement on Saturday, denouncing the detainments and likening the violent manner of the raid to an “invasion by the Mongol hordes.
“It is unlawful and unacceptable. They lynched us here. I am clearly stating that they were here to slaughter us. The world public opinion should be made aware of this. I want to state that we are being subjected to a spiteful all-out slaughter full of hatred” lamented Farisogullari, lashing out at the police violence.
Police raids against HDP members who are on a hunger strike in solidarity with Leyla Guven have become frequent following the remarks of Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who vowed to stop HDP MPs, who attempt to demonstrate any kind of support to Guven, at any cost.