Green Left Party files criminal complaint after members threatened, banners torn apart in Kırklareli

Green Left Party’s provincial co-chair in the northwestern Kırklareli province has said that the party members have been exposed to verbal attacks and threats on several occasions as they were running election campaign. He also said that banners reading ‘(Former HDP co-chair) Selahattin Demirtaş is a terrorist' was hung in two districts. The HDP is entering the elections under the Green Left Party.

Ferhat Yaşar / Gazete Duvar

Green Left Party members have been exposed to verbal attacks on several occasions in the northwestern Kırklareli province during the election campaign. The party has filed a criminal complaint with regards to the issue. 

Green Left Party Kırklareli Provincial Co-Chair Ertuğrul Öksüz said that the party flags were torn apart and instead of them banners reading ‘Selahattin Demirtaş is a terrorist’ were hung by the provincial office of the ultra-nationalist organization Grey Wolves, known as “Ülkü Ocakları” in Turkish.

Ertuğrul Öksüz

Öksüz said that they have filed a criminal complaint against those who hung the relevant banners and verbally attacked the Green Left Party members during their works.

Öküz said that the banners, one hung on April 13 in the Lüleburgaz district and the other on April 16 in Babaeski district, were removed with the initiative of Demirtaş’s lawyers.

Former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş is currently jailed in the northwestern Edirne province, accused of terrorism charges. He is frequently targeted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The HDP is entering the elections under the Green Left Party, due to the risk of being closed prior to the May 14 elections.

Öksüz said that when the Green Left Party was distributing brochures and introducing parliamentarian candidates in the AKP-run district of Pınarhisar on May 3, they were exposed to verbal abuse by a municipal police officer. “At the same place, a second abuse occurred. Two youths at a car verballed insulted (us). And for the third abuse, we faced the abuse and harassment of a person leaving a store.”

He said that the party is able to overcome the “provocations by acting in a prudent way.” He also said that as they were in the election vehicle, they were threatened by some people in a car who made the “Wolf” (known as “Bozkurt” in Turkish) hand salute, which is commonly used by supporters of the Grey Wolves.

“And a second car slowed down before us, and those inside harassed us. We have not responded to the provocations. We have filed the necessary legal applications the next day,” he said.

(English version by Didem Atakan)