Three killed in clashes over death of Kurdish NGO head

Clash kills three more residents in Turkey’s east and injures four in conflict that erupted in province of Diyarbakir after killing of head of conservative Kurdish association on same day

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Clashes that erupted in the eastern province of Diyarbakir on Tuesday after the killing of a head of an association head affiliated with the conservative Kurdish Free Cause Party (Huda-Par), led to killing of three more citizens while four others were injured including journalists and a policeman.

Aytac Baran, president of Muslim NGO organisation Yeni Ihya-Der, and member of conservative Kurdish Free Cause Party (Huda-Par) was killed in an armed attack early on Tuesday after unknown assailants attacked him near his home.

Baran was immediately taken to the hospital, but was announced dead due to heavy wounds.

Speaking to press following the incident, Baran’s lawyer Abdulgani Orhan said the police had notified Baran over a possible armed attack being planned by the Patriotic Revolutionist Youth Movement (YDG-H), the youth wing of the outlawed PKK against him.

However, YDG-H denied the claims on their Twitter account and said the claims are part of a provocation.

After finding out the killing of Baran, a crowd gathered in front of the Yeni Ihya-Der office in Yenisehir district and protested the attack. The clashes that erupted there caused the death of two people who remain to be unidentified.

Following the incident, ministry of interior released a statement saying security measures were heightened to prevent any similar clashes from occurring.

Ministry later announced that three suspects that had guns on them were taken into custody over the killing of Baran and two other people.

Diyarbakir Chief Prosecution also released a statement and said, “Crime scene investigation, collection of evidence, autopsy proceedings as well as efforts to catch suspects are being conducted by four prosecutors and two prosecutors in the name of chief prosecution.”

Meanwhile, Huda-Par chair Huseyin Yilmaz said the PKK and YDG-H had carried out numerous attacks on the NGO and Huda-Par for years, and have uttered threats many times.

In the recent years, rivalry between the conservative Huda-Par and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have been heightened in the east, especially after the events of Oct. 6-7.

The events of Oct. 6-7 took place after the HDP called its supporters to take it to the streets in support of the city of Kobane, which was besieged by ISIS.

The rally soon evolved into attacks on the members of the Huda-Par by the youth arm of the outlawed PKK. This led to the deaths of over 40 people, including the brutal killings of four young men, Yasin Boru, Hakan Gokgoz, Riyat Gunes, and Huseyin Dakak by YDG-H.

Aytac Baran was reported to be the teacher of Yasin Boru.

The HDP is regarded as being leftwing and close to the PKK while the Huda-Par represents more conservative Kurds.

TRTWorld and agencies