We, as IHD, shared our report on violations of political parties’ rights during the pre-election period on both 20 May and 3 June 2015. As our reports indicate that Peoples’ Democratic Party faced the highest violence. Despite all our warnings to the political power, attacks on HDP were not prevented, stopped on the contrary these attacks continuously increased.
The following incidents show that these attacks are organised by a unit of deep State structure which is condoned by the State: torture and murder of Hamdullah Öğe who is the driver of HDP in Bingöl on 3 June, attack on HDP demonstration in Erzurum and injuring many people by a racist group that is supported by police forces on 4 June and 2 bomb attacks on HDP demonstration that resulted in 4 deaths and about 400 injured people in Diyarbakır on 5 June 2015. The Government, which holds the political power, the Government’s existing representatives and the President who uses government’s authorities in a de facto manner are responsible for these attacks, deaths and murders. After the elections an Inquiry Commission should be established by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) and those who are responsible for these attacks should be found out, be accountable for what they have done.
We condemn these attacks on HDP and criticise perpetrators. We offer our sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in these attacks. We also wish that those who are injured would recover soon.
According to our documentation department, there are 176 attacks (e.g. raid, threat) on HDP election bureaus/vehicles, candidates, demonstrations and staff from 23 March 2015 to 5 June 2015. There are guns in 7, bombs in 5 of these attacks and 4 of them are arson. 5 people lost their lives and 522 people were injured in these attacks. While these attacks were not stopped, prevent 185 HDP members, activists were arrested and 33 of these people stated that they were subjected to torture.
Freezing peace, solution process and exercising a new isolation in regard to Abdullah Öcalan by the political power during the pre-election period, in a sense, explain also the attacks on HDP. The spokespersons of the political power used an orchestrated discourse which is othering HDP through showing HDP as a branch of the PKK and accusing this party of being illegal and using violence. İHD reports show the contrary. Unfortunately, it is HDP that faced the highest violence. In other words, propaganda cannot hide reality. The political power and the President show HDP as a target indicates that violence against HDP is not independent from these structures. This attitude shows public safety is violated directly by the political power in Turkey. Thus, it is not possible to mention there is election security.
Representation of HDP in the TBMM has a vital importance. Organising systematic attacks on this political party to exclude HDP, which is one of the important parties, poses a great risk also for the future of Turkey. It seems that it is impossible to solve the Kurdish issue, which is one of the most important issues in Turkey and needs to be solved, without HDP. Given this fact, HDP should be able make its propaganda in a fair and free atmosphere and without any pressure.
We would like to repeat our recommendations once again in order to persuade authorities to eliminate violations stated in our report and demand that there should be safe atmosphere on Election Day.
It is understood that AKP political power will not pay attention to election security and its’ political demands should not be met by any Governor, District Governor, Security Directorate, Gendarmerie Officers because these institutions and officers must implement laws only.
Similarly, judges who represent High Election Council (YSK) and any public officer must stick to laws not meet demands from the Government or the President. They should object to these kinds political of demands, requests.
It should be keep in mind that if HDP falls behind the 10% threshold through gerrymandering or pressure it is highly possible that there would be internal conflict in Turkey. Therefore, police and gendarmerie forces should object to these kinds of political demands from the Government or the President.
The new parliament should establish an inquiry commission to find out perpetrators and responsible for these incidents. Those who are responsible must be brought to court.
EU, Council of Europe and OSCE should play their role to warn and to dissuade further violations.
If there is a judicial organ in Turkey, this organ must initiate an immediate investigation against perpetrators. Public prosecutors must conduct an effective investigation against the perpetrators. Public prosecutors should give order to arrest those who are perpetrators not victims. They should not obey to pressure from the political power.
The President and the Government representatives, who continuously use a discriminatory language must put an end this attitude and apologise for problems that they caused.
Since there is possibility of provocations on election day, democratic public opinion should remain sensitive to any incident, to indicate that these attacks will be useful for no political parties and put pressure to stop further violence.
As İHD would like to underline that we will monitor elections with Independent Election Monitoring Platform and intervene in any violation, if there is any attempt from security officers or high election council officers to prevent our monitoring activities we will submit official complaints to OSCE and Council of Europe.
We call on all voters to be sensitive about election security and to protect their votes.
Human Rights Association