Racist mob attacks Kurdish agricultural workers in Turkey's west

A racist mob in Turkey's west has attacked Kurdish agricultural workers for speaking in their mother tongue. The assailants kidnapped one of the workers and broke his arm.

Duvar English 

A racist mob has attacked Kurdish agricultural workers in the western province of Afyon solely for speaking in their mother tongue, Mesopotamia Agency reported on July 19. 

The attack took place when one of the workers visited a hairdresser in Afyon's Dereçine town alongside other seasonal workers from Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast. 

Seven people were wounded in the incident. 

Speaking about how the attack unfolded, Nurullah Aba, a relative of those attacked, said that workers İsmail Tan and his cousin Ali Tan visited the hairdresser to get a haircut, but were told to wait in line. 

"They start waiting in line, but the hairdresser keeps accepting other customers. They asked why they are being kept waiting and the hairdresser said, 'You are terrorists, you're speaking Kurdish here' before attacking them," Aba said. 

İsmail Tan was then kidnapped by the assailants and his arm was broken, Aba said, adding that the racist group recorded footage of themselves beating the man in a forest area. 

According to Aba, security forces in the Dereçine town told families of those assaulted that the workers will be sent back to their hometowns in Diyarbakır and Mardin because residents of the area don't want them. 

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) condemned the racist attack, saying that it's a result of the hate speech used by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

"Our party is closely following the incident. Afyon Governor doesn't answer our calls," it said. 

HDP Urfa deputy Ayşe Sürücü asked the governor the reason for why the workers are forced to leave Afyon. 

"Who forced these families to leave Afyon at midnight?" Sürücü asked on Twitter.