Demirtas vows to cleanse Cizre of ’AK Party bandits’


Turkey Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtas has accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) of causing turmoil in Sirnak province’s troubled district of Cizre, where a total of seven individuals have been killed since Dec. 27, 2014, vowing to cleanse the district of “AK Party bandits.”

Speaking during his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Demirtas made reference to a remark by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, who said the government has to cleanse Cizre of bandits. The HDP co-chairperson sarcastically sided with Arinc, saying: “I agree with his [Arinc’s] sentence: We have to cleanse Cizre of bandits. The people of Cizre will not accommodate bandits in the town. Cizre will return to normal and it [we] will construct an equitable life there.”

While holding up a bullet that killed a 12-year-old boy in Cizre last week, Demirtas said: “This is the bullet with which one your [AK Party government’s] bandits killed a 12-year-old child. This was taken out of [the child’s] head. … If it is not banditry, please tell me what it is then? Give an account for this first and then call on the HDP to be held accountable. We will cleanse Cizre of the AK Party’s bandits.”

A 12-year-old boy was shot dead in Cizre on Jan. 14, the sixth death in the town since the end of December 2014. According to the first post-mortem examination report of the Diyarbakir Institute of Forensic Medicine (ATK), Nihat Kazanhan was shot in the head with a five-centimeter plastic bullet, Zaman daily reported.

Speaking during the Energy Markets Summit held in Ankara on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan implied that the Hizmet movement is behind the tension in Cizre, saying, “We know the what is being plotted in Cizre today, and we are taking necessary measures against it.”

Cizre is a southeastern district where tensions have been running high. Both Interior Minister Efkan Ala and imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan warned against “provocations” in the district. Cizre has been on edge since deadly clashes erupted between pro-PKK and Islamist Kurds last month. Those clashes left three people dead and five injured in Cizre’s Nur neighborhood.Erdogan also mentioned an incident in which three police officers were dismissed from their jobs on charges of throwing explosives on roads from outside of an armored vehicle in the Keklikpinar neighborhood in the southeastern city of Hakkari on Jan. 15. He said: “Do you see those who are wearing the state’s official uniform and throwing explosives on roads out of armored vehicles? They are being captured by other state officials. We have already entered their dens.”

According to Cihan News Agency, the Hakkari Governor’s Office said in a written statement that some explosives were thrown onto roads in the Keklikpinar neighborhood at around 11 p.m. on Jan. 15 from an armored vehicle that belongs to the Hakkari Police Department. According to the written statement, the police, who are investigating the incident, found out that a police chief and two other police officers were in the armored vehicle when the incident took place. These three police officers were fired from their jobs, the office of the governor announced, also adding that two separate investigations — one administrative and the other criminal — are under way regarding the incident. Erdogan also said the government knows about some “efforts” that are underway to associate Turkey with terrorism, adding: “We are aware of what kinds of circles are cooperating to prevent Turkey from achieving its grand objectives. We also know who is carrying wood to this fire.”

Demirtas: AK Party taking easy way out by associating Cizre with ‘parallel state’

Speaking with the press on Monday evening, Demirtas pointed to the AK Party government’s attempts to link the turmoil in Cizre with the Hizmet movement, saying that the ruling party is taking the easy way out by claiming that the “parallel structure” is behind the Cizre incidents.”

The “parallel structure” or “parallel state” is a term invented by Erdogan to refer to followers of the Hizmet movement, which as inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, particularly followers within the state bureaucracy.

Saying that the AK Party has full authority everywhere in Turkey, Demirtas sarcastically asked whether the Cizre governor was also appointed by Gulen. Defining the Cizre incident as provocations designed by the AK Party itself, Demirtas stated: “It [the AK Party] wants to give a message of defiance that says, ‘I can disturb you by playing in the place where you are the strongest.’ This message is for Ocalan and the PKK. Do the police riot vehicles and panzers [being used in Cizre] belong to the Hizmet movement?”

Demirtas also said non-ballistic weapons are being used in Cizre and thus their owners cannot be identified, adding, “This gives the message that the ‘state is shooting at you, and it does not leave a trace’ to the public in the region.” He said no bird can even fly without the government knowing and asserted that there is no vacuum of authority in Cizre as is being claimed. “But there is excessive power in the hands of the security forces and agents operating among the public in Cizre. The National Intelligence Organization [MIT], police intelligence units, Kurdish movement, etc. [are actively operating there],” he said.