Slain HDP staffer’s parents file complaint against police for negligence

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The parents of a young woman who was killed in an attack on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) office in western Turkey in June have filed a criminal complaint against the local police, whom they accuse of negligence, as well as the killer, the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Friday.

Party employee Deniz Poyraz, 38, was killed in an attack on the HDP office in İzmir on June 17. The attack came at a time of increased pressure on the party, which is accused of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the US, as it faces a closure case on terrorism charges, and when hundreds of its politicians including two former co-chairs are behind bars on politically motivated charges.

The parents, Fehime and Abdülillah Poyraz, on Friday gave statements as part of the investigation launched by the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office into the young woman’s murder.

They lodged a complaint against Orhan Gencer, 27, an ultranationalist with links to the Grey Wolves, the militant wing of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), an ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The parents also filed complaints against the people whom they claim caused Gencer to kill Deniz and the police officers involved on allegations of negligence, Mezopotamya said.

“The police knew about the attack [beforehand]. They were involved in it,” Mezopotamya quoted Abdülillah Poyraz as saying.

Days after the attack, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli said Poyraz was a “terrorist” who was recruiting militants for the outlawed PKK.

“Let me tell you who the slain Deniz Poyraz was. She was responsible for the PKK’s rural activities, a militia collaborator who took part in efforts to send PKK sympathizers to terrorist camps. A militia collaborator means a terrorist who tries to recruit people who appear to be lonely and without a family in towns and cities and who aids and abets the heinous activities of the terrorist organization,” Bahçeli said at a meeting of his party.

President Erdoğan and his ruling AKP as well as their election partner, the MHP have long portrayed the HDP as the political front of the PKK. The party denies links to PKK and says it is working to achieve a peaceful solution to Turkey’s so-called Kurdish problem and is only coming under attack because of its strong opposition to Erdoğan’s 18-year rule.

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