Jun 06 2018

Electoral violence intensifies in Turkey

Over the past week, there has been an upswing in violent incidents reported throughout Turkey against a variety of different political parties.

An attack was carried out on ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) activists and vehicles in Van on Wednesday, while a young woman who supported President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was assaulted by two female Republican People’s Party (CHP) activists on Tuesday.

A woman canvassing for the CHP was beaten up in Kırşehir, a small city to the south of Ankara, on Monday.

On Sunday, there was a knife attack on a CHP local party head at his local party headquarters, while on the same day a group of men attacked a Good Party campaign stall in Bursa for a second time, leaving 6 party activists wounded, and a fight broke out at a rally held by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Manisa.

A group of men stoned an electoral vehicle belonging to the HDP in Ankara on Saturday, while there were attacks on HDP activists in four different cities on Tuesday and on a HDP stall in Bursa on Wednesday.

Since snap elections were called for June 24, the HDP says it has suffered 22 attacks on its campaigners and rallies in total.

The nationalist Good Party has also suffered from a long list of violent targeting, including several incidents that have badly wounded their activists.

Seven activists from the Islamist Felicity Party were also hospitalised in late May after an attack by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) partisans.

There have also been recent attacks on various parties’ electoral posters in a variety of locations around Turkey, while the police took down HDP bunting in Van and also stopped a party rally there.