Opposition politician injured in assault in front of his Ankara house

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A politician from Turkey’s opposition Gelecek (Future) Party was hospitalized after he was attacked by five unknown assailants in front of his house in Ankara, Turkish media reported.

The attack took place as Selçuk Özdağ, deputy chairman of the Gelecek Party, left his house to go to a mosque for Friday prayers. He reportedly sustained injuries to his hands and head. Photos showed the bloodied politician receiving emergency treatment at an Ankara hospital.

“I am appealing to Mr. President and [Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet] Bahçeli. I am not afraid. I will not be silent. I am appealing to those youths [the assailants] — don’t allow others to use you. Selçuk Özdağ will only be silent if he is killed,” Özdağ said in remarks from the hospital to KRT TV.

Gelecek Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu condemned the attack on Özdağ in a statement on Friday, describing it as a terrorist attack. Davutoğlu called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to make a statement immediately, saying he bears responsibility for every development in the country.

“We are faced with an act of political terrorism which can in no way be covered up and met with silence,” Davutoğlu said, adding that the president and members of the cabinet are primarily responsible for the attack on Özdağ.

Davutoğlu, a former heavyweight of Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), parted ways with the AKP and established the rival Gelecek Party in December 2019. Özdağ was also a former AKP deputy.

Selim Temurci, another Gelecek deputy chairman, announced on Twitter that the assailants attacked Özdağ with guns and sticks.

“I condemn this contemptuous attack and expect the perpetrators to be brought to justice immediately,” said Temurci.

Meanwhile, the Ankara Governor’s Office said in a statement later in the day that an investigation has been launched to identify and apprehend the assailants.

In December, another Gelecek Party politician, Ayhan Sefer Üstün, escaped an attack when shots were fired in front of his house in Sakarya. Üstün was in Ankara at the time and is also a former AKP deputy.

In a similar development on Friday, the nationalist Yeniçağ daily’s Ankara representative Orhan Uğurluoğlu was attacked in front of his house in Ankara by three unknown assailants.

In a column published in Yeniçağ on Friday, Uğurluoğlu criticized the AKP government for rising inflation and skyrocketing food prices, saying he was shocked and embarrassed by reports of baby formula protected behind lock and key in supermarkets because people can’t afford to pay for it.

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