Turkish court refuses to hear ex-PM as witness in case of blasts at HDP rally

An Ankara court has refused a request to hear Turkey’s former prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu as a witness as part of a case into two explosions that took place during a pro-Kurdish political rally in southeastern Diyarbakir in 2015.

On June 5, 2015, two days before the June 7 general election in Turkey, two blasts occurred in a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) rally, killing four supporters of the pro-Kurdish party and injuring more than 100 people.

The pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency reported on Friday that suspicions as for the perpetrators of the attack still lie on the Islamic State (ISIS). Five suspects in relation to the attack are currently facing trial in an Ankara court.

Among those who attended the hearing on Friday were Lisa Calan, who lost both legs in the 2015 attack, and her lawyers as well as Kemal Pekoz, a lawmaker for the pro-Kurdish HDP.

A lawyer representing Calan demanded that Davutoglu be heard by the court as a witness as he was the prime minister during the time of the Diyarbakir explosions.

“We have heard from the [former] prime minister [Davutoglu] that some shameful and unlawful incidents took place in Diyarbakir, Ankara, Reyhanli, and Suruc. … The PM of that time [Davutoglu] knows how and by whom the incident of Diyarbakir explosions was orchestrated,” the lawyer said on Friday, referring to recent remarks by Davutoglu about the 2015 terror attacks.

Davutoglu who resigned from the ruling AK Party (AKP) in May 2016 after being sidelined by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the aftermath of a snap election, has been planning to form a new party to challenge him.

The former prime minister is expected to announce his new party in the following months.

In August, Davutoglu said in reply to senior AKP members’ claims that he left them alone in the fight against terror that “many people would not be able to go out in public if one is to rake up the past with regards to the fight against terror.”

“If the history of the Republic of Turkey would be written one day, the most critical part of that history will be the period between June 7 and November 1 [in 2015],” he added, pointing at the time between the two polls in 2015.

Many terror attacks took place in several different provinces of Turkey after the AKP had lost the majority in the parliament for the first time in its 13-year rule on June 7 general election and continued until it regained control of parliament on November 1.

The court on Friday ruled to reject the lawyer’s request to hear Davutoglu as a witness, arguing that it would not make any contribution to the case at hand.

Turkey orders rearrest of jailed pro-Kurdish leaders, Erdogan vows not to release them

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