Eight people were injured on Sunday after supporters of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) attacked an election campaign booth of the opposition İYİ (Good) Party in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district.
Four of those injured were treated for stab wounds at a nearby hospital following the attack. The other four also received medical attention after sustaining injuries the attack.
There is considerable animosity between the MHP and the IYI party, much of whose support comes from disaffected former MHP supporters. IYI party leader Meral Akşener, a former MHP MP, played a key role in forming the party in 2017 after she failed in a bid to unseat its long-standing leader Devlet Bahçeli.
“No threats and no attacks will intimidate us. With patience we will build the goodness and common sense that Turkey needs,” Akşener, wrote on twitter after the attack.
İYİ party Deputy Chair Musavat Dervişoğlu, also responding on twitter, held Bahçeli responsible for “every drop of blood spilled.”
The main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) party joined condemnation of the attack. Muharrem İnce, who will stand as the CHP’s presidential candidate in twin presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June 24th, said, “Political competition is no war. We are all children of this country.”
Tensions are rising in Turkey in the run-up to elections that will see President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) and their MHP allies compete with an alliance of political opponents comprising the CHP, the İYİ Party, the Felicity Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP).