Hate crimes against Kurds on the rise in Turkey with attacks in 2 different provinces

Photo: MA

A series of apparent hate crimes against Kurds took place in Turkey this week as a group of seasonal workers were attacked in Afyon province on Monday and a Kurdish family was attacked in Konya on Wednesday.

According to the Mezopotamya news agency (MA), two Kurdish seasonal workers from Mardin were attacked for speaking Kurdish. The victims said they were called “terrorists” and beaten.

Nurullah Aba, the cousin of one of the victims, spoke to MA about the incident. “Two workers, İsmail and Ali Tan, went to the barber for a haircut but were kept waiting at the door for two hours,” he said. “When they asked why they were not let inside, they were called terrorists for speaking Kurdish and were attacked.”

According to Aba, İsmail Tan was driven to a forest by the attackers and further beaten. His arm was broken, but Ali Tan managed to escape. İsmail Tan’s mother, Azize Tan said the perpetrators had filmed the beating.

The incident got bigger when the Tan cousins’ families got involved. The family members were also beaten and sustained minor injuries.

Aba said the seasonal workers would be sent back to their home towns according to a decision by the district governor. “They will send us back because the town’s residents don’t want Kurds,” he added.

The family was made to collect their personal belongings and leave their lodgings; however, they said they would pursue justice even if they were sent back home.

In a separate incident Hakim Dal, 43, a Kurdish man from Diyarbakır, died today in an apparent hate crime when a group of 60 people attacked his family in a village in Konya. Dal’s bother Hamdi Dal said they had been threatened by other villagers several times.

“They had previously told us to sell our land and leave the village,” he said. “They had also threatened us and yesterday night and an argument broke out. A group of 60 people came after the argument and opened fire in our direction.”

Mehmet Emin, a witness to the incident, said the family had been attacked three times in the past and that the village chief was the main instigator as he rallied villagers against the Kurdish family. The chief was the only person to be detained after the incident.

Hate crimes against Kurds have increased in Turkey in the recent past. Last October, a Kurdish seasonal farm worker, Şirin Tosun (19) was shot dead in Sakarya for speaking to his friends in Kurdish.

Sixteen Kurdish seasonal farm laborers were attacked on September 4, 2020 by a farm owner and a group of villagers in Turkey’s northwestern province of Sakarya in an incident that appears to have been caused by anti-Kurdish sentiment.

In another hate crime father and son Kadir Sakçı (43) and Burhan Sakçı (16) were attacked by a mob, again in Sakarya, for speaking in Kurdish to each other. Kadir Sakçı died as a result of his injuries, and Burhan was hospitalized for an extended period of time.

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