Attack on Turkish opposition leader premeditated - CHP report

The attack on the leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) during a military funeral on Sunday in Ankara was a premeditated assault guided by 15 provocateurs, including Ankara municipality workers, said a preliminary investigation prepared by the party, Cumhuriyet reported

Leaving the funeral of 26-year-old infantryman Yener Kırıkçı, 70-year-old CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was jostled, shoved and punched in the face amid an unruly mob. Nine suspects were taken into custody, including a woman accused of throwing stones at the CHP leader’s car

All the suspects have since been released, including Osman Sarıgün, who is accused of punching Kılıçdaroğlu, who did not suffer serious injury. 

The CHP created an investigation team led by the party’s parliamentary group head, Engin Özkoç, to examine all video footage and photos from the scene.

According to police, all 37 people linked to the attack were from Kırıkçı’s hometown of Akkuzulu. According to the team’s report, footage showed 15 people not from Akkuzulu talking to other attendees in an effort to provoke them. 

Among them were workers of the Ankara municipality, which was won by the CHP in local polls on March 31. The CHP plans to give the names of these 15 people to police as part of a legal complaint.  

The report also said that stones had been piled along Kılıçdaroğlu’s route beforehand, while large plastic cans were placed there to establish barricades. Also in the footage, a man can be seen piling up batons on the roof of a house along the opposition leader’s route.

Some 300 gendarmerie and 152 members of the police did not intervene for 30 minutes while Kılıçdaroğlu was pushed and assaulted, according to the CHP report.