Ahmet Turk, former chairman of the banned Democratic Society Party (DTP) suffered a broken nose and deep cuts in his forehead after he was punched in the face by an assailant, the report said, quoting pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Sirri Sakik.

Turk was in Samsun to attend the hearing of a case on protests against the closure of the DTP that erupted in the southeastern Mus Province last December and was about to get in his car when he was assaulted, said the report.

Sakik, who was at the scene, said Turk was currently under treatment at a local hospital.

Two people who hit Turk were taken into custody, the Turkish paper Hurriyet Daily News reported on its website.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is in the U.S. capital of Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit, called Turk to express his sorrow over the attack and said he would closely follow the incident, according to Anatolia.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court banned the DTP, the only Kurdish party in the parliament then, on charges of its links with the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) last December.

The closure of DTP sparked Kurd protests in several cities and towns, which turned violent in some places.

Nineteen DTP deputies who remained in the parliament after the party’s closure later joined the BDP, which was considered a back- up party for the DTP. (Xinhua, April 12, 2010)