Blasts in Adana and Mersin target pro-Kurdish HDP party
Blasts in Adana and Mersin target pro-Kurdish HDP party –
Seven people were hurt in explosions at two party offices in southern Turkey, raising tensions in the run-up to next month’s general election.
The blasts targeted the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Adana and Mersin.
The government condemned the attacks, but party officials accused ministers of inciting hatred against the HDP.
The pro-Kurdish party is trying to secure the 10% of votes needed to enter parliament in the 7 June election.
The ruling AK party is expected to win the vote.
Although it is no longer led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan it still commands widespread support. Mr Erdogan is seeking a mandate to help push through constitutional change and new executive powers.
Six people were hurt, three seriously, at the HDP’s offices in Adana. Reports said a bouquet of flowers had just been delivered to the building, whose windows were blown out in the blast.
“The bomb that caused the explosion was a time bomb set to go off as we were finishing our daily briefing with all our candidates and senior officers,” said party candidate Tugay Bek.
“The strength of the bomb and the time it went off suggests that they aimed to kill as many people as possible.”
One man was slightly hurt in Mersin when a device went off, also apparently hidden in a bouquet of flowers.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a rally in central Turkey he strongly condemned the attack.
Nationalists who accuse the HDP of links to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are suspected of being behind the two explosions.
However, an HDP statement spoke of “dark forces supported by the political authorities”, and laid the blame with the president, prime minister and other figures in the AK party.
The pro-Kurdish party’s offices were targeted by armed attackers in the capital Ankara last month but no-one was hurt.