Jun 28 2018

Turkish interior minister bars opposition from front row of soldiers’ funerals - Cumhuriyet

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has ordered opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) province heads not be allowed into the front rows of mourners at funerals of fallen soldiers, opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.

“I have sent an order to governors through my undersecretary: no longer accept CHP province heads into the protocol sections at martyrs’ funerals,” Soylu said.

“It’s that simple. They have a place they can go, and we will show them that,” he said.

CHP officials should instead attend the funerals of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, Soylu said.

“If they are together with them at the ballot boxes, they will be together with them at funerals.”

The secularist CHP formed an unsuccessful electoral coalition with the nationalist Good Party, the Islamist Felicity Party and the centre-right Democratic Party at Sunday’s elections.

If this coalition and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had together achieved a majority of the seats in parliament, there was the chance of an informal alliance against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The HDP has no formal links to the PKK, but the AKP has increasingly begun identifying the pro-Kurdish party with the armed militant group, including sanctioning the prosecution of many HDP parliamentarians on terror charges.