The aggressive political climate of conflict and polarization that President Erdoğan has engineered in Turkey to win in the upcoming referendum is now targeting “No” campaigners in European capitals. On March 30, a group of “No” campaigners who went to the Turkish consulate in Brussels to vote were attacked by a group of Turkish racist ne-cons who reportedly affiliate themselves with the “Ottoman Hearts,” an organization that has repeatedly pledged allegiance to President Erdoğan. According to HDP Europe office three supporters of HDP were stabbed in the attack and hospitalized. One of the victims is in bad condition, Ms Sultan Ogras, is and elderly member of Peace Mothers, a well-known initiative to end the violent Kurdish conflict in Turkey via peaceful means. We vehemently condemn this attack.
The HDP has repeatedly warned Turkish embassies regarding provocations by “Yes” campaigners. Unfortunately, relevant embassy authorities disregarded our concerns and demands and have not taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety of voting citizens. The voting process abroad will continue until 9 April 2017. About three million voters abroad will have a decisive impact on the result of the referendum.
Once again, we call on Turkish foreign missions to fulfill their responsibility and ensure the safety of voting process for all citizens of Turkey, regardless of their political choice in the referendum. Simultaneously we call on the relevant Council of Europe bodies, European governments and the broader international public to remain alert to such possible attacks and not allow President Erdoğan to carry the climate of violent polarization to Europe or to any other part of the world.
Deputy Co-chair of HDP in Charge of Foreign Affairs