Seven members of a Kurdish family were killed Friday in central Turkey by armed assailants who tried to burn their house down in what rights activists said was a racist attack, Agence France-Presse reported.
The Dedeoğlu family had been seriously injured in another attack in the middle of May by neighbors who warned them that they “will not let Kurds live here” in Konya.
One of the family members had complained in mid-July that the police and judges had been partial to the May attackers, who were freed, and said the family feared for their lives.
Abdurrahman Karabulut, their lawyer, said the release of the attackers in the first incident was a kind of impunity for wrongdoers.
“This was an entirely racist attack … the judiciary and the authorities are responsible for what has happened,” Karabulut told Arti TV.
“This was a case we were following. The youngest family member told me, ‘We are very scared’,” tweeted Eren Keskin, vice president of the Human Rights Association.
According to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, a years-long feud between two families was behind the tragedy.
He said describing the attack as a racist crime was a “provocation.”
“This attack is not connected to the Turkish-Kurdish issue. Making a link to this is as dangerous as the attack,” he said on television.
But the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said there had been several attacks on Kurds over the years.
“The hate speech and provocation of the authorities is the main cause of this massacre,” said Mithat Sancar, the HDP’s co-chairman.
It was the second deadly attack on Kurds in Konya in a month.
On July 21 a Kurdish farmer was killed in a village in Konya by attackers who shouted, “We don’t want Kurds here.”
Local authorities, however, said it was the result of a fight over grazing rights.