HDP headquarters, local office, shops attacked in central Turkey

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A number of anti-terror marches in Turkey turned violent when the headquarters of Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Ankara, as well as its office in another Central Anatolian city were attacked by nationalist protesters on Sept. 8.

Dozens of demonstrators pelted the HDP headquarters in Ankara with stones, before they were dispersed by police. Police detained one protester over the attack, according to CNN Türk channel.

In the neighboring province of Kırşehir, HDP’s local office was attacked by another group and its flag was lowered, replaced by Turkish flag as the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supporters marched for a demonstration entitled “Damn Terrorism.”

The march turned violent when around 150 people in the crowd set fire to four shops owned by Kurdish businessmen, according to Turkish media.

The fire, which destroyed the four shops, was put out by fire brigades without causing casualties.

Meanwhile, a public anti-terror protest in the Beypazarı district of Ankara late on Sept. 7 turned into a lynch attempt against Kurdish seasonal workers, leaving 27 people injured.

Police arrested nine protestors in relation to the attack in Beypazarı, which is less than a one-hour drive to Ankara and is seen as one of the capital’s most popular touristic spots.

Around 500 people had gathered in the center of Beypazarı in order to protest the killing of 16 troops by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Dağlıca district of the southeastern province of Hakkari. The group marched through the town against the recent attacks, chanting slogans against the PKK. The route of the march took the group through the Zafer neighborhood of the district, which is mostly populated by Kurdish seasonal workers.

After some protestors said some locals in the Zafer neighborhood threw stones at the protest, the crowd started to attack houses where Kurdish citizens live. Some of them also tried to set alight houses and cars in the area.

The local police failed to stop the crowd and called for back-up from the Ankara Police Department. There were claims that some protestors opened fire on Kurdish citizens before the police forces and gendarmerie set up barricades to halt the angry crowd.

The protests in Beypazarı continued until the early hours of Sept. 8.

A total of 27 persons, including three policemen and some children, were wounded in the incidents, with one man lightly wounded in the leg after he was shot.

An immediate security meeting of local governors and security forces was held in a bid to reinforce measures and to avoid any repetition of such incidents.

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