Armed assailant attacks HDP İzmir building, kills party employee

An armed assailant on June 17 set the HDP's İzmir provincial building on fire and killed Deniz Poyraz, a party employee. The HDP said that the instigator of the attack is the government and that the actual plan of the assailant was to kill more people.

Duvar English 

An armed assailant set the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) provincial building in the Aegean province of İzmir on fire and killed one person, the party said on Twitter on June 17. 

Deniz Poyraz.

The HDP said that Deniz Poyraz, a party employee, was killed in the attack. 

The assailant, Onur Gencer, was detained, the İzmir Governor's Office said. 

According to the HDP, the man fired three shots, broke windows, and took Poyraz hostage in the building in İzmir's Konak district before setting the place on fire and killing her. 

"The perpetrators and the instigators of this attack are well-known. The government and the provocateurs will be responsible if anything goes wrong," the HDP said on Twitter. 

 The party also said that HDP members are gathering in front of the building. 

HDP Central Executive Board (MYK) member Mahfuz Güleryüz said that Deniz Poyraz was the daughter of a party member and was standing in for her mother that day who was sick.

Güleryüz also said that the party shared possible attack attempts with police, but to no avail.

"We told them someone will come here and commit murder," Güleryüz said.  

The HDP released a statement on its website regarding the incident, saying that the Interior Ministry is responsible for the attack since it has been targeting the HDP for months now. 

"Those who carried out this very dangerous provocation and the instigators of it are the government and the Interior Ministry," it said. 

The HDP is very frequently targeted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which claim that the party is linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). While the HDP denies such links, attempts to criminalize the HDP have been ongoing for months. 

The assailant said that he carried out the attack "because he hates the PKK," the daily Cumhuriyet reported. 

Onur Gencer.

"I'm not linked to any group," Onur Gencer said. 

A picture from Gencer's Instagram account showed him in Syria's Aleppo in a military uniform. He was also seen making the gesture of the Grey Wolves, a far-right group that the European Parliament recently called on the European Union to add to its terrorist list. 

The Grey Wolves organization is regarded as the armed wing of the MHP and during the 1970s and 1980s, it committed acts of violence on the streets of Turkey, when its members often clashed with political opponents.

HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar told reporters that the actual aim of the assailant was to kill more people. 

"There was a meeting scheduled for today that was going to be attended by 40 people. It was canceled at the last minute. The aim of the assailant was to carry out a massacre," Sancar said. 

Sancar also called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to explain what he meant when he last month told the opposition that "These are your better days" following an attack on Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener.

"You have to explain what you meant!" Sancar said. 

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel conveyed his condolences to the HDP and Poyraz's family.

"We are facing a political murder of which we all know the instigator," Özel said on Twitter.

AKP deputy leader Hamza Dağ condemned the attack. 

"We'll continue to be against all attacks and attempts aimed at harming Turkey's peace and security," he said. 

AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik condemned the attack later in the day, saying that provocations won't be allowed. 

"Our security forces and the judiciary will reveal all aspects of this incident," Çelik said on Twitter.