Published by Ekurd Daily on December 18, 2016

Turkish nationalists remove the logo of Kurdish HDP party office in Kayseri, Dec. 17, 2016. Photo: AFP

Turkish nationalists remove the logo of Kurdish HDP party office in Kayseri, Dec. 17, 2016. Photo: AFP

ANKARA ,— Turkish officials encouraged attacks on offices of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) across the country, according to official party’s statement.

The HDP premises in several Turkish cities have been ransacked by protesters in the wake of Saturday’s terrorist attack in the city of Kayseri, blamed by the authorities on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “Our offices in different districts of Istanbul, as well as Ankara, Erzincan, Kocaeli, Canakkale and many other cities were attacked this night. Officials were ignoring our calls and this shows who has encouraged the attackers. Those who did not take action provided an opportunity for provocations,” the HDP statement said.

The Turkish Interior Ministry denied accusations and said that all necessary measures had been taken and the investigation had been launched.

On Sunday Turkish authorities detained nine people suspected of involvement in a night of violence against offices of the main Kurdish party in apparent reprisal for a deadly attack blamed on Kurdish militants.

In Kayseri, Turkish nationalists had on Saturday broken into the building where the HDP office is located, scattering papers and furniture on the street and removing the HDP sign from the entrance.

At least 13 Turkish soldiers were killed on Saturday, while 55 were injured when an explosive-laden car blasted in Kayseri near a military bus, which was carrying soldiers.

On Monday, the Turkish law enforcers detained 200 HDP members following the December 10 attack in Istanbul carried out by the Kurdish radical group Kurdistan Freedom Falcons.

Thousands of officials from the HDP have been detained in recent months. The government accuses the HDP of having links to the PKK, a charge that the HDP denies.

Earlier in November 12 Kurdish HDP lawmakers, including the two co-leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, were arrested on charges of links to the PKK which they deny.

The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 79-million population.

A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels and Abdullah Ocalan, who founded the PKK group in 1974, and has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide according to observers.

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