The headquarters of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition party has been attacked. Windows were smashed at the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) building in Ankara.
Nationalist anger towards Kurds has increased in response to a number of recent attacks on security forces and police officers by the outlawed Kurdish militant group PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party).
“Tonight alone, 186 attacks were carried out. And our headquarters were targeted. This is definitely a planned attack that was orchestrated from one particular place,” said HDP Deputy Chaiman Alp Alitinors. “The president and his staff at the palace are the ones behind these attacks.”
President Recip Tayyip Erdogan has accused the HDP of links to the PKK, which is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Erdogan has suggested that the immunity from prosecution of its lawmakers be lifted.
The attack on the HDP’s building comes after 14 police officers were killed on Tuesday (September 8) by Kurdish militants in a bomb attack in the east of the country.
The offices of the newspaper Hurriyet were also attacked on Tuesday.
Turkey’s prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu denounced the attacks and called for calm.
“It is unacceptable to damage media institutions, political party buildings and the property of our civilian citizens,” Davutoglu said on Twitter.
“I invite all my citizens with hearts full of love for the country to calm, embrace one another, and to have confidence in the state.”
Meanwhile Turkish ground forces have crossed the Iraq border in pursuit of Kurdish militants for the first time since a ceasefire with the PKK two years ago.
Turkish warplanes also launched a wave of air strikes targeting bases of the PKK in northern Iraq.