Turkey’s Kur­dish party head­quar­ters at­tacked with no ca­su­al­ties re­ported

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Drive- by shoot­ers early Satur­day fired on Turkey’s main Kur­dish party head­quar­ters in the cap­i­tal Ankara, with no ca­su­al­ties re­ported, an of­fi­cial from the party said.

“The at­tack­ers fired with pump ri­fles at the party head­quar­ters at 4:05 a.m. from a pass­ing car,” an of­fi­cial from the pro-Kur­dish Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (HDP) told AFP on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Se­cu­rity guards pro­tect­ing the build­ing re­sponded and the as­sailants fled, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial, who added that there were no ca­su­al­ties.

An­other HDP law­maker, Sirri Sureyya On­der, called the attack a “provo­ca­tion” ahead of June 7 leg­isla­tive elec­tions.

“Provo­ca­tion is con­tin­u­ing. We will not yield,” he wrote on Twit­ter.

The gov­ern­ment con­demned the attack.

“Arms mean provo­ca­tion. Some dirty hands step in at elec­tion times and try to cre­ate provo­ca­tion,” Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Yal­cin Ak­do­gan was quoted as say­ing by the state-run Ana­to­lia news agency.

“No mat­ter where it comes ... we al­ways condemn ter­ror re­gard­less of its tar­get or ori­gin,” he said.

Ten­sions are run­ning high ahead of the key June leg­isla­tive elec­tions. In a tight battle, the HDP is seek­ing to win more than 10 per­cent of the vote to qual­ify for di­rect rep­re­sen­ta­tion in par­lia­ment.

Should it suc­ceed, it could de­rail a bid by the rul­ing Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Party (AKP) to change the ba­sic law and cre­ate a pres­i­den­tial sys­tem — for which the AKP would need the sup­port of two-thirds of par­lia­ment’s 550 mem­bers.

The party cur­rently has 312 seats in the body.

On­der, who later vis­ited the party build­ing in the Cankaya dis­trict, said he did not know how many as­sailants were in the car, adding that the attack was an at­tempt to pre­vent the party from clear­ing the 10 per­cent thresh­old.

“We are determined to in­sis­tently ad­vo­cate peace and demo­cratic poli­cies,” he told re­porters.

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