Sep 18 2019

Turkish opposition releases documentary on 'glorified' mob attack against leader

Officials from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Wednesday introduced a documentary on the April 21 mob attack against CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Kılıçdaroğlu was attacked by a group of people in Çubuk, Ankara province, while attending the funeral of a soldier from the town who was slain while fighting Kurdish militants.

Before the attack, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had accused Kılıçdaroğlu of supporting terrorists by dealing with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) during a bitterly fought campaign for the March 31 local elections.

A crowd of men at the funeral verbally harassed the CHP leader before mobbing and physically assaulting him.

Kılıçdaroğlu was forced to take refuge in a nearby house and wait there, trapped inside by the crowd, until an armoured vehicle rescued him.

Footage from the incident circulated widely in Turkey, but none of the attackers have been charged.

Kılıçdaroğlu has accused government and security officials of turning a blind eye to the incident.

“The criminals have clearly been protected in this incident, and beyond that, the crime and criminals have been glorified,” CHP deputy Engin Özkoç said at a press conference introducing the documentary.

The 43-minute documentary includes footage of individuals directing the crowd in the attack, independent daily Gazete Duvar quoted Özkoç as saying.

“You’ll see who pursued our chairman (Kılıçdaroğlu), the stones, clubs and iron bars carried in the funeral convoy, those in the crowd directing groups with signals, how there were no security corridors at the funeral, in violation of state directives,” he said.

The 43-minute documentary has been shared with the prosecutor's office and lawmakers, the CHP officials said.