Statement by our Foreign Affairs Co-spokespersons Feleknas Uca and Hişyar Özsoy:
Last week, we had to inform the international community of severe racist attacks that had been carried out against Kurds in Turkey. In just one week there had been a series of racist attacks against Kurds in Afyon, Ankara and Konya provinces. We shared our concerns that if the government does not stop its criminalizing smear campaigns and incessant hate speech against the HDP and against the Kurds in general, and if they fail to prosecute the perpetrators effectively, many more bloody attacks are likely to happen. Sadly, our fears are already being realized, and, this time, seven people, including three women, have been killed.
On 30 July 2021, an armed attack was carried out against the Dedeoğulları family home in the Hasanköy neighborhood in Meram district of Konya, a neighborhood where this Kurdish family has lived for twenty-four years. After the attack, the house was set on fire by the attackers. Seven family members died in the attack.
The Dedeoğulları family has been subjected to racist – anti-Kurdish - attacks by their neighbors for the last fifteen years. On the evening of 12 May, they were attacked with sticks, stones, and knives by a group of sixty people, including their neighbors and relatives of their neighbors, who said, “We are nationalists, we will not let you live here.” In that earlier attack, seven people, including four women, had been injured. Seven people had been arrested on 14 May but five of them have been released since then, despite repeated objections of the family’s lawyer.
This is the same district of Konya, where, as we reported in our previous note, Hakim Dal, aged 43, was shot dead in a racist attack on 21 July.
As we said before, these racist attacks are the result of criminalization policies carried out by the AKP-MHP coalition against Kurds and the HDP. They are accompanied by continued arrests of our party members and the closure case against our party. These repeated racist attacks are not accidental, and if the government does not change its policy towards the Kurds, they will increase and grow even more violent. We reiterate that the political responsibility for these attacks’ rests firmly with the government. They therefore demand a political response.
We call on the international community to increase its solidarity with the HDP and the Kurds, as the attacks on us are very much on the rise and becoming even deadlier. Please show public solidarity and support for the Kurdish families facing racist violence in Turkey, and please add your voice to our call for the Turkish government to refrain from speech and actions that fuel this anti-HDP and anti-Kurdish racism.
Feleknas Uca & Hişyar Özsoy
HDP’s Co-spokespersons for Foreign Affairs
31 July 2021