A police officer slaps co-chair of HDP’s Istanbul office and former deputy Ferhat Encü

Statement by our Foreign Affairs Spokespersons Feleknas Uca and Hişyar Özsoy:

HDP members, executives, and deputies have been facing intense pressure from the AKP–MHP government over the last seven years, including physical attacks by the security forces. Another physical attack took place on 18 December in Kadıköy district of İstanbul. Responding to a call by the Marmara Association of Solidarity with Families of Prisoners (MATUHAY-DER), the Association of Assistance and Solidarity with the Lost Relatives of Anatolia (ANYAKAYDER), and the United Fighting Forces (BGM), HDP executives and members joined prisoners’ families to protest the conditions of sick prisoners. The police intervened in the protest, and a police officer swore at and then slapped HDP’s Istanbul provincial co-chair, and former deputy, Mr Ferhat Encü, on camera. The police later detained dozens of people, including Encü and the camera operator. The next day, on December 19, the police violently detained another eighty-seven people who gathered to protest the assault on Mr Encü. The police surrounded HDP’s co-chair Mr Mithat Sancar and, totally unlawfully, prevented him from entering the office of HDP in Kadıköy.

This attack against Mr Encü is not an exception; on the contrary, police violence against our politicians is quite systematic, and our deputies are constantly exposed to this kind of police attacks. One such recent attack took place on 9 October in the Yüksekova district of Hakkari province, when the police attacked protesters and battered HDP deputies Mr. Habib Eksik and Mr. Said Dede, dragging them to the ground. Mr. Eksik, himself a medical doctor, suffered multiple fractures to his leg and a broken nose and had to undergo surgery.

The police have previously assaulted many other HDP deputies. The AKP-MHP alliance encourages the police to commit such brutal acts. In fact, the police have turned into a thoroughly militant institution serving the interests of the government and repressing democratic politics and society, using all kinds of tools above and beyond the law.

Feleknas Uca & Hişyar Özsoy
HDP’s Co-spokespersons for Foreign Affairs
20 December 2022