Duvar English

The Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has called on the government to set up a civilian commission to investigate 2014 Kobane protests.

HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar has said that what really unfolded during the protests that led to the deaths of 52 people need to be revealed, as he commented on the arrests of 17 HDP members, including former Kars Mayor Ayhan Bilgen.

“A lot of people were killed brutally. What really happened?” Sancar said in an interview on Oct. 5.

Protesters flooded streets in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast in early October 2014, outraged over the Turkish government’s inaction in protecting Syrian Kurds as ISIS besieged Kobane, just across the Syrian border. The protests between Oct. 6 and 8 turned deadly, as members of Turkish Hizbullah also took to the streets.

While Ankara accuses the HDP of inciting violence, the HDP says that it was doing everything it can to prevent bloodshed via being in contact with government officials.

Sancar pointed to then-Interior Minister Efkan Ala’s statements on “dark forces” within security forces.

“Who are these forces within the security forces? Does the HDP have a role [in the protests]? A civilian commission must look into that,” Sancar said.

“We went to Kobane accompanied by a minister between Oct. 6 and 8. It was a minister who took me to Kobane from [Urfa’s] Mürşitpınar as a member of the Wise People Committee,” Sancar said, referring to the committee formed by individuals selected by the government in 2013 to aid in the peace process between the government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which eventually collapsed in 2015.

Sancar also said that former deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder, who was detained in the operation on Sept. 25 alongside 19 others, spent 48 hours in Interior Minister’s room.

Turning to the polls, Sancar said that the HDP is still the first choice of the youth.

“We promise peace to the youth. This is our reason of existence in politics,” he said.