Pro-Kurdish party leader says Turkish minister told her “you no longer have right to live here”

The co-chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party said on Wednesday that she had been threatened by Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu after the killing of an electoral monitor from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Doğubeyazıt district of the eastern province of Ağrı, opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

Mevlüt Bengi had been assigned to monitor the polls on behalf of the AKP in the village of Çiftlik, but a replacement was found after he did not arrive. His body was later found tied to a lamppost, pro-government Habertürk newspaper said, apparently shot in the head by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants.

Soylu “implied that there was a one-to-one relationship between this assassination and our party”, Buldan said.

“I faced Mr. Soylu saying absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable things such as ‘we will teach you a lesson’, ‘you no longer have the right to live’, and ‘wherever you want to go to, go’. Is the AKP government going to be run on this type of anger?” she asked.

Buldan said that her party’s decreased vote in the Kurdish-majority southeast was due to “forced migration, the prevention of electoral monitors, the arrests of our local officials, and the interventions of all the branches of the state.”

Buldan also said they won't accept what the minister told her on the phone and that the minister should know his place.