Racist attack on Kurdish family in Konya, seven people killed

KONYA, Turkey – Seven people were killed in what seems to be a racist attack against a Kurdish family in Bahçeşehir village in the Meram district of Konya, central Turkey. The house of the Kurdish Dedeoğulları family, originally from Kars, was attacked by neighbors. “We are idealists, we will not let you live here,” the attackers shouted. Four women are reported under the dead. After the attack, the family house was set on fire.

On May 12, 2021, the family was also attacked by a large group who entered their property with knives, stones, and sticks beating family members and breaking windows. In the filed police report, the family stated the attackers shouted the words “we don’t want Kurds to live here.” Several people were arrested in connection with the attack but released because of ‘lack of evidence’.

Friday’s attack on Kurds was the second deadly attack in Konya in July after a 43-year-old Kurd was killed in a village by attackers shouting, “we do not want Kurds here”.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Mithat Sancar blamed the government for the attack, saying the government’s use of language of “hatred and provocation” was the main responsible for the attack.

Syriac Member of Turkish Parliament, formerly HDP and now Independent MP, Tuma Çelik also blames the deadly attack on the government’s use of hate language, “The discriminatory hate language used by the government brought about the Konya massacre.”

Eren Keskin of the Turkish Human Rights Association, who closely follows the case, said on Twitter, “We have been fighting against racism and discrimination for years. Our voice is still not heard. On the contrary, our voice is blocked. Stop the ‘hate’ calls being spread by trolls!!!!!!”