Election candidate among 19 detained over campaign violence in Turkey
June 16 2018 01:25 PM
4 dead as violence erupts at an election campaign in Turkey
4 dead as violence erupts at an election campaign in Turkey


Turkish authorities on Saturday detained 19 people in the south-eastern town of Sanliurfa, including a candidate for parliament from a pro-Kurdish party, as part of investigations into clashes there on Thursday, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Ismail Kaplan, running for the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), was among the detained, Anadolu said.

Turkey is scheduled to hold snap parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24.

Four people were killed after violence broke out on Thursday during an election campaign in Sanliurfa's Suruc district between supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the HDP.

Anadolu reported that gunmen had attacked a group of AKP campaigners.

However, eyewitnesses told the BBC Turkish service that a shopkeeper initially told campaigners that he would not vote for AKP. Both sides opened fire at each other after the tense situation escalated.

AKP Sanliurfa member of parliament Ibrahim Halil Yildiz's brother was among the dead, according to Anadolu.

Turkey's president and AKP chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the HDP for the killings. At an event in Istanbul late on Thursday, Erdogan said those responsible will be brought to justice.

The HDP condemned the bloodshed in Suruc shortly after the incident.

Erdogan has accused the HDP of being linked to the PKK. The HDP, the second-largest opposition party in Turkey's parliament, has denied the allegations.

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