ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - A mob of about 50 people on Wednesday attacked a funeral ceremony in the Turkish capital of Ankara for the deceased mother of the imprisoned Deputy Co-chair of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Aysel Tugluk.
Speaking to Kurdistan 24, HDP lawmaker Adem Geveri confirmed the reports that a racist crowd assaulted Hatun Tugluk's evening funeral despite the presence of riot police and gendarmerie in the Ankara cemetery.
Tugluk's mother passed away because of natural causes related to her old age in the early hours of Wednesday.
The family after the assault decided to exhume Tugluk's body from the grave to transport it to their home province of Dersim, MP Geveri said.
The mob chanted, "This is not an Armenian cemetery" and "We won't allow burial of a terrorist here," the lawmaker added, citing information from his party's officials in Ankara.
Videos of the incident posted on social media also showed the crowd chanting "Ya Allah, Bismillah, Allahu Akbar," Islamic slogans used by far-right Turkish nationalist groups.
Tugluks are a Kurdish family of the Alevi religious minority background.
Tugluk whom the Turkish authorities held in prison in the Kocaeli province since her arrest in December 2016, attended her mother’s funeral under gendarmerie custody and with special permission from judicial authorities.
Initial pictures from the funeral showed a devastated Tugluk being consoled by fellow politicians at the cemetery.
HDP’s Istanbul MP Filiz Kerestecioglu condemned the assault.
“You, those attacking the funeral of the sweetest woman, those who are tolerating what they did to Aysel Tugluk, are fascists. And there is no cure for you,” she tweeted.
MP Geveri said there was no one arrested from the assailants as of the time of writing this report.
Main opposition Republican’s People Party (CHP) lawmaker Baris Yarkadas described the attack on the funeral as an “ignoble act” and called for the prosecution of the perpetrators.
Hatun Tugluk attended her daughter’s trials in a wheelchair until her death.
Prosecutors last week asked up to 22 years and six months in prison for the HDP Deputy, accusing her of membership in the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has been waging a decades-long guerrilla warfare against the Turkish state for larger Kurdish rights.
Tugluk had served two times as an MP and was also the co-chair of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), an HDP predecessor, banned in 2009 by Turkey’s Constitutional Court, for having become “the focal point of activities against the indivisible unity of the state.”
Editing by Ava Homa