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Turkey launches second day of attack against Kurdish MPs, journalists, activists and protesters

KURDISTAN remained under attack today, activists said, as the Turkish state moved against MPs, journalists and protesters for a second day, with scores taken into custody.

The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) warned that the escalation of attacks and “dismissal of mayors has one single goal: to crush the democratic forces and to complete the Kurdish genocide.”

It said in a statement that any other interpretation would be “a failure to understand the ambitions of this genocidal, fascist and warmongering regime,” a reference to the Turkish state.

Oppression continued with attacks by state forces in most major towns and cities across the largely Kurdish south-east of the country.

A solidarity demonstration in Istanbul was shut down by police, with Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP and journalist Ahmet Sik injured.

Security forces swooped in the largely Kurdish city of Diyarbakir to prevent the HDP from holding a press conference.

The left party — which the Turkish state has branded terrorists, linked to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — planned to speak out after the removal of HDP mayors from three municipalities on Monday.

But authorities unleashed the feared Toma water cannon on the crowds who had gathered on Lise Street to hear party leader Sezai Temelli speak.

HDP MP for Hakkari Leyla Guven, who started a hunger strike campaign in Turkish jails that ended in May, led a sit-in protest demanding an end to the police blockade of the HDP’s headquarters in the city.

Security services turned their violence against the MPs and supporters, including Ms Guven. HDP MPs Semra Guzel and Gulistan Kilic Kocyigit were rushed to hospital after being injured.

Dutch MEP Kati Piri condemned the attacks on Monday, warning of a “coup against the will of the people.” 

“What next? Replacing the mayors of Ankara and Istanbul?” she asked.

But the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) was accused of cowardice yesterday after it said it would not be joining the protests.

According to sources, the party will not join any protests organised in provinces where mayors were removed but will continue to raise criticisms in public statements.

The number of journalists detained had risen as the Star went to press.

Mezoptamya Agency reporters Ahmet Kanbul, Mehmet Sah Oruc, Rojda Aydin, Nurcan Yalcin and Halime Parlak were being held in Mardin while Yelda Cicek was detained in Diyarbakir.

The media organisation’s Kurdish editor Ziyan Karahan remained in custody after being held in a raid on Monday.

The KCK warned the moved was not just an “attack on the political will of the Kurdish people, this attack also targets the democratic forces of Turkey.”

It called for all democratic forces both inside and outside Turkey to take a strong stand against the “fascism” of the Turkish government.

“The Kurdish people and the democratic forces in the Middle East face a serious attack,” the statement said, as KCK called for people to “defend themselves against these attacks and to increase the fight everywhere.”

British-based Turkish and Kurdish organisation Gik-Der urged the labour movement to break the silence and speak out against the “annihilation of the Kurdish nation and the democratic forces of Turkey and Kurdistan.”

In a statement it warned the attacks of the “colonist state” were carried out under the orders of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And Gik-Der slammed the silence of the British Labour Party and said “it should be doing much more to stand in solidarity with sister party the HDP and its elected representatives.”

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