Turkey: HPG claims responsibility for deadly attack, denies involvement of former journalist

Turkey: HPG claims responsibility for deadly attack, denies involvement of former journalist
Update: 29 September 2022 20:54
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The armed wing of PKK announced the names of two women who carried out the attack and rejected allegations by Turkish officials that former journalist Dilsah Ercan was involved.

The armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for the deadly 27 September attack on a police facility in Turkey, stating that the attack was carried out in retaliation for the Turkish military's chemical warfare in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

The People's Defense Forces (HPG) said in a statement:

"A suicide attack was carried out against enemy forces in Mersin's Mezitli district on late 26 September by our two comrades. This attack was conducted in response to massacres and oppression in prisons and in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons against our fighters."

HPG said that the attack was carried out by two women HPG members with noms de guerre Sara and Ruken, adding that "the attack was planned in the most professional manner to avoid any harm on civilians."

Sara was among the Kurdish fighters who were subjected to chemical agents used by Turkish forces in Gare, KRI, in February 2021, HPG noted.

It also rejected the claims by the Turkish authorities that one of the assailants has been identified as Dilsah Ercan, who had been arrested in 2012 over her news reports for the Kurdish-language newspaper Azadiya Welat.

Propaganda campaign following the attack

Officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) instantly launched a propaganda campaign following Mezitli attack, accusing the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) for having included Dilsah Ercan's name as one of the jailed journalists in its report dating back 10 years.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a live broadcast on Wednesday evening, in the context of Dilsah Ercan's alleged involvement in Mezitli attack, that "CHP is a national security issue" for "having listened earlier to the terrorist organization and its extension instead of the state officials."