20 March 2012


BDP Executive board member for Istanbul/Arnavutkoy has been killed by the Turkish Police.  

The Newroz Celebrations which were to be held on March 18th had been banned in Istanbul and Diyarbakir by the Turkish internal affairs ministry. The cause of the ban on the Celebration was the wish to celebrate Newroz on 18th March instead of 21st March which is actually Newroz day. But in previous years, Newroz has been celebrated on different dates and no problems have occurred. The ban includes a political meaning and the Government is aiming to ban the celebration itself.

Even though it has been banned, hundreds of thousands of People in Istanbul and one million people in Diyarbakir resisted against police to enter the celebration squares. Many clashes took place on the streets and finally in Diyarbakir, The demonstrators succeeded to pass the Police barriers around the square and entered the celebration square. One million people celebrated Newroz in Diyarbakir, in spite of the hindrance of the Government!

In Istanbul, The clashes between the demonstrators and police continued until the late time of the night. Polices attacked the demonstrators, who wanted to celebrate their Newroz in peace, with gas bombs and pepper sprays. As the result of the Police attacks, BDP Executive board member for Istanbul/Arnavutkoy Haci Zengin was murdered and tens of people were injured heavily. BDP MP for Kars city Ms. Mulkiye Birtane has also been injured. There are hundreds of arrests both in Istanbul and Diyarbakir.

We strongly condemn the Turkish Government’s attitude against Kurds celebrating Newroz. We offer the relatives of Haci Zengin our condolences and wish the injured a speedy recovery.

We call on international public opinion to react against the violence of the Turkish Government against the civilians.

BDP European Representation