Person Who Punched CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu Arrested

* Photograph: Evrim Aydın – Ankara / AA

Click to read the article in Turkish / Kurdish

One person has been arrested in relation with the attack launched against main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu after he attended the funeral of Yener Kırıkçı, a soldier who lost his life during the military operations in Turkey-Iraq border in Hakkari.

It was previously reported that O.S., who was seen to be punching the CHP Chair in the face, was caught in Eskişehir and taken into custody today (April 22). O.S. was arrested by the Çubuk Penal Court of Peace.

Speaking about the incident, Ömer Çelik, the Spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), confirmed that O.S. is a member of the AKP and added that he has been referred to the Provincial Disciplinary Board to be definitely discharged from the party.

Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu has stated that nine people in total have been detained in relation with the incident. The interrogation of the remaining eight people has still been continuing.

‘Not a routine protest, but an organized lynch attempt’

CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu met journalists earlier today and spoke about the incident in Çubuk. Underlining that he has no physical health problems in relation with the attack, Kılıçdaroğlu made the following remarks:

“It is organized; it is, in fact, a terrorist attack. It has to be considered in this way. I mean, it should not be considered an ordinary, routine protest. There is not such an incident, anyway. It is not an ordinary, routine protest. It is an organized lynch attempt against a politician.”

Soylu: Attackers are from the same village

Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu has also held a statement for the press regarding the incident. Stating that around 12 thousand people attended the funeral of the soldier, Soylu said that the villagers first reacted to Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Mansur Yavaş, then Kılıçdaroğlu.

Indicating that nine people in total have been detained in relation with the attack, Soylu has added that the attackers are from the Akkuzulu village:

“Who attended the funeral is certain. We have no concrete evidence suggesting that other people coming from outside the village to attend the funeral did it. It is certain who attended or who came to the funeral. The ones who came to the funeral can be identified with cameras and licence plate recognition. We have detected that everyone who was around Kılıçdaroğlu yesterday was from Akkuzulu. We have detected that the person who punched Kılıçdaroğlu is the relative and fellow village resident of the martyr.”

CHP: Authorities were informed about his visit

Soylu has further stated, “We were not informed that Kılıçdaroğlu would come to the funeral. It is not realistic to allege that an organized provocation was staged against a participation that no one knew anything about.”

However, both Kılıçdaroğlu and other CHP MPs have announced that Çubuk District Security Directorate was informed about his visit.

Making a statement for the press, CHP Group Deputy Chair Engin Özkoç stated that the guards of Kılıçdaroğlu called the Guard Branch Office of Ankara Security Directorate at 10.03 a.m. on the day of incident and informed them that he would attend the funeral in Akkuzulu, Çubuk.

In his meeting with journalists, CHP Chair Kılıçdaroğlu also indicated that the authorities were informed beforehand. (AS/SD)