Three people were injured after ruling AK Party members attacked a newly-elected district mayor in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakır province, T24 news portal reported on Monday.
Zubeyir Arslanca, an AKP member and the former mayor of Diyarbakır’s Cungus district, and a few others on Monday allegedly attacked Ali Suat Akmese, an Islamist opposition Felicity Party (SP) member who has been elected as the new mayor of the district and some other SP members.
The incident took place outside of a teacherage in Cungus, where Akmese was accepting congratulations from other SP members. Akmese got injured when an AKP member hit him in the head with a pickaxe. Two more people, an SP member, and a police officer were also heavily injured after they got shot by the members.
They were taken by an ambulance helicopter to the emergency ward of Diyarbakir Dicle University Hospital for treatment.
Police have launched an investigation into the incident and detained a few suspects.
Akmese told Ilke news agency (ILKHA) on Monday that the attack was carried out by AK Party’s Zubeyir Arslanca and a few others.
“We heard gunshots outside [the teacherage]. The district governor phoned asking me to arrive at the scene and call people to order. As soon as I got out [of the teacherage], a person, I guess the nephew of the [former] mayor, hit me in the head with a pickaxe. They [AKP members] terrorize the whole district,” ILKHA quoted Akmese as saying.
Fesih Bozan, SP’s provincial chairman of Diyarbakır, spoke to Sputnik Turkiye on Monday, saying that the incident was a result of recent campaign speeches by Turkish President Erdogan, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli and some ministers that breed bad blood between members of different parties.
“People who take the courage from those speeches, attack [other parties’ members] thinking they attack terrorists,” Bozan said.
“They [AKP members] got so aggressive because they will lose a significant amount of the unearned income they used to get [from the district],” he added.
On Sunday, two SP members Hasan Aktas and Ilyas Aktas were shot to death allegedly by a cousin of the ruling AKP’s mayoral candidate in Malatya’s Puturge district.
“The incident was not a result of any [personal] hostility. It happened after they [AK Party members] attempted to carry out open voting and two people [a polling clerk and an observer] from SP objected to that,” Karamollaoglu tweeted on Sunday.
Ahead of Sunday’s local elections, Erdogan has repeatedly accused opposition parties and dissidents of supporting terror.
To run in the local elections, the Nation Alliance was formed by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), nationalist opposition Good Party (IYI) and Islamist opposition SP.
MHP leader Bahceli, and later his election ally, Erdogan, have both used the defamatory statement, “alliance of dishonor” to denounce the Nation Alliance.
Erdogan further blamed the alliance for being supported by terrorist groups.