HDP protests Zakho attack under police blockade in Istanbul

Under the blockade of hundreds of police officers, the pro-Kurdish HDP’s Istanbul office on July 22 protested an attack that killed nine civilians in the Zakho district of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Ferhat Yaşar / DUVAR

The Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Istanbul provincial office on July 22 protested an attack that killed nine civilians and wounded several in Zakho district in northern Iraq's Dohuk province earlier this week. 

Before the time of the protest, the police blockaded the street of the HDP’s provincial office and brought many police vehicles to the area.

After talks between HDP members and the police, the protest was allowed. 

HDP Istanbul Provincial co-chair Ferhat Encü, speaking in Kurdish, said that the war caused deaths regardless of children or elderly.

“We have been calling for the clashes to stop for a long time now. However, those who base their rulership on death and war do not give up their attacks. The basis of these attacks is animosity against Kurds and democracy. Let's make this geography an area of peace and freedom,” Encü said during the protest.

Other HDP Istanbul Provincial co-chair İlknur Birol demanded that those responsible in the artillery attack be brought before the judiciary as soon as possible.

Birol stated that not only the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) but also “Global capitalist-imperialist states that make bargains and agreements on the peoples of the Middle East and Kurdistan” are responsible for “this massacre.”

“War and conflict, occupation and expansionism confine the peoples of the region to total poverty and deprivation. We call on all relevant powers, especially the [Turkish] rulership to give up the love of conflict and war,” Birol added.

Nine civilians including children were killed in a park in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region on July 20 by artillery fire which Baghdad said was carried out by the Turkish military. Turkey however has denied responsibility, instead suggesting that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) had carried out the strike.

Turkey regularly carries out air strikes in northern Iraq and has sent commandos to support its offensives as part of a long-running campaign in Iraq and Syria against the Kurdish PKK and the Syrian Kurdish YPG. Ankara regards both as terrorist groups.

(English version by Alperen Şen)