Turkish security forces kill two people and police reportedly attack elected Kurdish MP



Ms. Ayla Akat Ata, Kurdish MP

A large public rally took place in the town of Amara in Turkey on Sunday. People in the town were holding a rally commemorating the imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence in Turkey for leading the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to war with the Turkish military. It was not long before the Turkish State Security forces intervened in the rally and violence broke out. According to several reports, security forces attacked the participants of the rally with nightsticks, plastic bullets and tear gas in order to force them to disperse.

The single incident resulted in the deaths of two people, Mustafa DaÄŸ (27), and university student, Mahsum KaraoÄŸlan (21). Shortly after, videos surfaced on the Internet showing the attacks on the rally by security forces. The video confirmed early reports about Mustafa DaÄŸ’s death resulting from the deliberate shooting by security forces of a tear-gas canister, which caused his skull to open and resulted in profuse bleeding.  (One of several videos can be seen on YouTube -  Warning: Please be advised that the video contains very graphic content.)

According to several reports, families of the victims were later accompanied by a Kurdish member of Turkish Parliament, Ms. Ayla Akat Ata, from the city of Batman in order to identify the bodies. Turkish police denied parliamentarian Ms. Ayla Akat Ata and the families entry to the hospital – Birecik State Hospital – where the body of  victim, Mustafa DaÄŸ,  is being kept. According to the Turkish-language online news publication, Gündem Online, when Ms. Ayla Akat Ata insisted that it was her right as an elected state official to enter the hospital, she was beaten with nightsticks by police.

A crowd of about 300 people gathered in front of the hospital, and reportedly, hurled stones at police following the attack on parliamentarian Ms. Ayla Akat Ata. At least one officer was reportedly injured.

There have been neither public condemnations nor any known investigations by the Turkish government about any of the incidents described. Ms. Ayla Akat Ata is a member of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP).

Alliance for Kurdish Rights (AKR)