Turkey’s pro-Kurdish leader survives assassination attempt
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish leader survives assassination attempt –
Reuters – Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition leader Selahattin Demirtas was unharmed after his car was hit by a bullet on Sunday in an apparent assassination attempt, a spokesman for his political party said.
The rear window of Demirtas’s bullet-proof car was hit once as he and his security team were driving in the city of Diyarbakir in the largely Kurdish southeast of the country, the spokesman said.
Demirtas told the Firat News Agency that the bullet dent was noticed when they got out of the car. He also said the car was taken away by police, but no bullet cartridge was found.
“Death is God’s command,” Demirtas tweeted after the incident.
Demirtas led his People’s Democratic Party (HDP) through a highly successful election campaign in June, seeing it cross the threshold to enter parliament as a party for the first time and depriving the ruling AK Party of its majority. The AK Party won back a majority in a rerun this month, but the HDP remained above the 10 percent threshold to stay in parliament.
HDP supporters have been attacked three times over the past few months. One of the attacks, believed to have been carried out by Islamic State sympathizers, killed more than 100 people in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
A two-year ceasefire between the Kurdish militant group PKK and Turkey collapsed in July this year. The PKK insurgency, largely fought in southeastern Turkey, has killed some 40,000 people since 1984.
Demirtas’s party had been a facilitator in the ceasefire negotiations, which angered nationalist Turks who demanded a harsher military crackdown on the Kurdish militants.