Turkish opposition party files legal complaint against interior minister

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) filed a legal complaint on Friday against Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu over his comments before and after an attack against the CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Diken news site reported

The 70-year-old opposition leader was attending the funeral on Sunday of 26-year-old infantryman Yener Kırıkçı alongside the new CHP mayor of Ankara, Mansur Yavaş, when he was booed by a group of people at the funeral and then attacked afterwards as security personnel led him through the crowd.

The opposition leader found shelter in a house in the village and was taken out by Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, while some in the angry group outside called for the house to be burned down, according to footage from the incident. 

Soylu in 2018 said he had notified the police not to allow CHP officials to attend military funerals. The minister said the CHP should instead attend the funerals of militants belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

The CHP said Soylu’s statements created an environment for such attacks, Diken said.

“If Kılıçdaroğlu were to come to the funeral, he should have shared that information with security forces,” Soylu said following the event. The minister said the CHP was pursuing a policy without separating itself from the predominantly Kurdish Democratic People’s Party (HDP) and the PKK.

Engin Özkoç, the deputy head of the CHP’s parliamentary party, said police forces had been informed of Kılıçdaroğlu’s plans to attend the funeral.