Kurdish parties clash in southeast Turkey ahead of elections, two dead

Published May 29th, 2015 - 06:05 GMT

Two members of Islamist and pro-Kurdish Free Cause Party (Huda-Par) were killed Friday in Turkey’s southeastern Sirnak province in an altercation with supporters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which also has a broad base among Kurdish voters.

Witnesses told Anadolu Agency the fight broke out after HDP members came to Kozluca village in Sirnak’s Idil district to hang party flags, which Huda-Par members opposed.

In the brawl that ensued, an HDP member reportedly pulled out a gun and opened fire, critically injuring Muhammed Serif Simsek (34) and Abdulcelil Talayhan (38). Both died later at a hospital in neighboring Mardin province.

Tensions remain high in Kozluca, with gendarmerie forces deployed.

The deadly incident comes as Turkey gears up for the general election on June 7.

Approximately 56 million Turkish citizens are eligible to vote in the country's 25th parliamentary elections to choose 550 lawmakers.


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