Turkey: violence escalating ahead of March 30 elections

25 February, 12:43

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA, FEBRUARY 25 - Neither the governing party nor the opposition parties in Turkey have escaped becoming targets of violent attacks in the run-up to the local elections on March 30, as daily Hurriyet reports today. In the last few days, attacks have visibly escalated, with arms being used and election offices coming under attack. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the People's Democratic Party (HDP) have all been targeted in different corners of the country, within the space of four days.

    The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was also the victim of an armed attack in late January, in which a press advisor of the party lost his life after being shot. On February 23, HDP members were targeted in attacks in the Urla town of the Aegean province of Izmir during the opening of their party's campaigning office. Some 100 HDP members had gathered in front of the office, after which around 1,000 people marched to the square where the office building is, shouting slogans and declaring that they would not allow the HDP's presence there. In the Eastern Anatolian province of Van, an election vehicle belonging to the AKP's mayoral candidate for the town of Edremit was stoned on February 23 by dozens of people. No injuries were reported, but the vehicle was badly damaged. Late on the same day, in the Aegean province of Aydin, the window panes of the election office of Aydin Mayor Ozlem Cercioglu of the CHP, who is also running for the same post in the upcoming elections, were smashed. Meanwhile, in the Semdinli town in the Hakkari province of southeastern Anatolia on February 21, two people were injured in an attack with hunting rifles on AKP members who were out hanging party flags. (ANSAmed).

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