Turkey’s ruling AKP-MHP alliance rejects fourth motion to investigate Kobani protests

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) alliance on Tuesday downvoted a motion for an investigation into the violent protests in the aftermath of the Kobani massacre, the site of an Islamic State (ISIS) siege in Syria in 2014.

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) submitted its fourth motion to date for an investigation into the over 30 deaths, injuries and negligence by public servants in the Kurdish-led protest that rocked the country from Oct 6-8, 2014,  Artı Gerçek news site reported.

ISIS slaughtered over 200 people in Kobani, located on the Turkish-Syrian border, in one of their biggest massacres of civilians in the Syrian civil war.

The massacre sparked deadly protests across 30 cities in Turkey, directed against the Turkish government for what Kurds had perceived as collaboration with ISIS.

“People lost their lives. There were attacks on HDP buildings. Thirty-three HDP members were killed. Who is responsible for this?” HDP Group Deputy Chairwoman Meral Danış Beştaş said in her address to parliament on Tuesday.

The government accused the demonstrators of “betraying their own country” and vowed that “violence would be met with violence.” But the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) called for members and supporters to take to the streets to protest against the ISIS offensive across the border.

The MHP-AKP alliance has voted against the motion a number of times and refused to grant permission for the establishment of a research commission on the events.

Earlier this month, Turkey issued warrants against 82 HDP members and arrested some 17 of them, including the co-mayor of the eastern Kars province, Ayhan Bilgen, on charges of organising the Kobani protests.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Tuesday dismissed criticism levelled at the government over the arrests taking place six years after the protests.

The orders for the protests were given by HDP officials, Soylu said, who should be held accountable for their actions.

"So what if six years have passed? Have we forgotten Karbala?’’ Soylu said, referring to 7th century battle in Iraq in which the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, Hussein, was killed.