Turkish columnist implies HDP is to blame for June terror attack

80FD0FE7-1841-4798-BEAD-8604997DBCBD_cx0_cy8_cw0_mw1024_s_n_r1In a recent opinion piece published on The Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Y. Yilmaz makes an unsettling allegation that the Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) benefitted from the terror attack prior to the June 7 elections in Turkey.

On the 5th of June, a pre-election rally in support of HDP was targeted by terrorists in a bomb attack in the Kurdish-populated city of Diyarbakir, which claimed the lives of four people, and injured more than one hundred. Despite the attack, the HDP gained 13.12% of the votes in 2015’s general elections, passing the necessary 10% threshold for any party to enter the Turkish parliament.

The HDP secured 81 seats in a remarkable victory, highlighting the power of democracy over militancy. For the first time in Turkish history, a Pro-Kurdish party passed the 10% threshold.

What’s disturbing about Yilmaz’s claims, is that he questions who benefited from the bomb-attack. He attempts to cunningly imply that the HDP benefited because they were victorious in the elections results. Despite the fact that in a recent report published by MetroPoll polling company in June 2015, the poll findings shows that the mismanagement of the country’s economy led to the decrease of support to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Ironically, Yilmaz tries to dissolve any potential legal liability from his scandalous claims by saying he is merely guessing and unable to explicitly state his observations, but leads his readers to make the assumption for him.

Unfortunately, this type of senseless conspiracy theories do no help build trust between Kurdish-Turkish relations, and the media play an immense role in propagating distrust.

The Hurriyet Daily News is known to be one of the oldest English-language news outlets in Turkey, espousing a secular and liberal ideological perspective. It is currently edited by Murat Yetkin, and I have sent him an email regarding this opinion piece. I hope Kurdish media outlets respond to this type of futile and unproductive accusations levied against the Pro-Kurdish HDP because we need to hold news agencies accountable that espouse hate speech against Kurdish politicians.

You can email the author on myy@hurriyet.com.tr and Editor of the local daily at murat.yetkin@hurriyet.com.tr.

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