Court releases assailant who staged attack at HDP office in İstanbul

HDP Flag

An İstanbul court on Monday ruled to release from detention a man who staged an attack at a pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) building in İstanbul’s Bahçelievler district last week, Turkish media outlets reported.

The assailant, identified as Muhammed Eren Sütçü, who was carrying a gun and a knife, injured two party employees during the attack.

Sütçü appeared before an İstanbul court on Monday morning. The court ruled for his release.

HDP sources said Sütçü attacked the party employees with a knife when his revolver jammed, hence a bigger tragedy was prevented. They also said the attacker, who was restrained thanks to the help of nearby store owners, threatened to kill all the people in the office.

The attack in Bahçelievler was the second such attack at an HDP office in 2021. Another assailant staged an attack at an HDP office in the western province of İzmir in June, killing a party employee.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as well as their election partner, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP,) have long portrayed the HDP as the political front of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the US. The party denies links to PKK and says it is working to achieve a peaceful solution to Turkey’s Kurdish issue and is only coming under attack because of its strong opposition to Erdoğan’s 19-year rule.

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