Police intervene on Suruç funerals

Police interventions marred the funerals of locals from Suruç, a town in southeast Turkey where four were killed after violence erupted during a visit by a deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Thursday.

The fighting broke out when AKP deputy İbrahim Halil Yıldız, visited the tradesmen in Suruç, reportedly in order to campaign for the upcoming elections, and reportedly got into an argument with Adil Şenyaşar, a shopkeeper and supporter of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Adil Şenyaşar, his brother Celal, and father Esved were all killed during the violence that followed, but the ruling party and the majority of Turkey’s media’s sympathy lay firmly with Yıldız, whose brother Mehmet Yıldız was killed in what they described as a premeditated attack by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group that has sought Kurdish autonomy through armed struggle since 1984.

Celal and Adil’s mother, Emine Şenyaşar, however, was in no doubt about who she blamed for the attack, saying it was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who had killed her sons.

According to reports from Suruç that have gone unreported in Turkey’s pro-government press, only Adil Şenyaşar was killed on the scene of the violence. Turkish Human Rights Foundation President Şebnem Korur Fincancı reported that Celal Şenyaşar was beaten to death with an oxygen bottle after being taken to the hospital for treatment.

Their father, who had rushed to the hospital to see his sons, was attacked by a group assumed to by AKP supporters on his arrival and later died in intensive care.

Funeral

Emine Şenyaşar’s words came on the day she buried her sons, and after police had intervened on their funeral procession with tear gas and water cannons.

The cortege carrying the Şenyaşars was also reportedly obstructed several times by police on the way to the cemetery, and the police intervened on the hundreds who had come to join the funeral.

The funeral

Songül Arpacı, the HDP’s candidate for Urfa in the upcoming Jun. 24 elections, was struck in the head by a police tear gas canister during the intervention.

Police kept a heavy presence around the cemetery, and a large number of citizens including local politician Nazlı Binici were reportedly detained.