A mob reportedly attacked the booth of Turkey’s opposition İYİ Party in İstanbul’s Avcılar district on Sunday, injuring eight, including the party’s Avcılar representative, Gökhan Yiğit.
Turkish media outlets reported that the attackers first gathered at the pro-government Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) stall and then approached the İYİ Party booth, when Yiğit appeared on the scene. Seven people were knifed, while the eighth sustained a gunshot wound requiring emergency care at İstanbul University’s Çapa Medical Faculty Hospital, according to the media.
Witnesses said about 100 people who had gathered at the ultranationalist MHP stall attacked the İYİ Party booth during an election campaign event.
“Those who do not trust the nation are dragging a democratic race into a dangerous conflict between our youngsters,” tweeted the İYİ Party. Top members of the party also made statements via Twitter.
İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener, standing as the party’s presidential candidate in the upcoming election on June 24, condemned the incident. “No threats and no attacks will intimidate us. With patience we will build the goodness and common sense that Turkey needs,” Akşener tweeted.
İYİ Party Deputy Chair Musavat Dervişoğlu stated on Twitter that MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli was responsible for “every drop of blood spilled.”
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce also condemned the incident. “I condemn the attack on the İYİ Party booth. I wish those injured a quick recovery,” İnce tweeted on Sunday. “Political competition is no war. We are all children of this country,” he added.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday that eight people have been detained in connection with the incident.
Last week, an unknown group of people attacked the opposition Felicity Party (SP) stand in Ankara, marking the first such attack in Turkey’s 2018 election period.
The SP and İYİ Party earlier joined forces to challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the joint candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP in snap presidential elections on June 24. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)