Violence against Green Left Party’s election campaigns continues across Turkey

Far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supporters on May 7 attacked the Green Left Party's (YSP) election vehicle and injured five people in Mersin province. In two separate incidents, the police prevented the YSP’s spring festival in Ankara while dragging and detaining an 80-year-old woman during the party's women's rally in Istanbul.

Duvar English

Far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supporters on May 7 attacked the Green Left Party's (YSP) election campaign announcement vehicle with knives and sticks in the Tarsus district of Mediterranean Mersin. 

While the YSP’s vehicle was waiting at a red light, the vehicle was blocked by 20 people coming out of the MHP’s election office, according to Mezopotamya News Agency. The group attacked the vehicle with knives and sticks, injuring five of the seven people in the vehicle. One of the injured people said that the police did not intervene in the attack.

In a separate incident, police on May 7 prevented the YSP’s spring festival in a park in the capital Ankara, citing "a counter-complaint filed by another political party," according to the daily Evrensel. "We do not recognize the ban on propaganda under any circumstances," said the party’s parliamentary candidate Selma Gürkan.

The YSP on May 7 also organized a women's rally in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul. After the rally, male police officers beat and detained a woman in front of her 10-year-old child on the grounds that she had green, yellow, and red bracelets in her bag. These colors have been used by Kurdish people in traditional attires, yet they are also affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Police also detained an 80-year-old woman by dragging her on the ground, according to daily Evrensel.

Photograph: Eylem Nazlıer/Evrensel

The YSP became the Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) back-up party in the upcoming elections over the HDP's closure risk. Nonetheless, the government often criminalizes party members and affiliates them with terrorist organization in order to decrease their "legitimacy" in the public's eyes.

Turkey has detained 295 and arrested 61 individuals in the past month as part of a crackdown on the HDP, according to an official statement released by the party on May 5.