Explosions in Istanbul as angry mobs storm HDP offices

Explosions in Istanbul as angry mobs storm HDP offices
There have been scenes of violence across Turkey on Saturday, as crowds of people have stormed the political offices of the pro-Kurdish party HDP, starting fires and causing explosions.
2 min read
18 December, 2016
Protests started outside the HDP office in Kayseri after the bombing earlier [AFP]
Angry mobs stormed the premises of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) offices across Turkey on Saturday evening, with initial reports suggesting the involvement of ultra-nationalists.

Two explosions hit the HDP office in the Beylikduzu district of Istanbul, before a group of around 30 people started a fire on the premises.

A group of men spread the flag of the ultra-nationalist group, Bozkurtlar [Grey Wolves], on top of the group's office in Kayseri before setting part of the building on fire.

Similar scenes were witnessed at HDP offices in the cities Ankara, Izmir, Canakkale, Hatay, and Erzincan.

The attacks follow a car bomb which killed 13 soldiers and wounded 56 in Kayseri on Saturday morning, attributed to the violent Kurdish separatist group, the PKK.

In a statement released hours later, the HDP condemned the attack "in the strongest terms".

"We would like to express our condolences to the deceased and wish a fast recovery to the wounded, and our deepest sympathy for the families."

Ankara has linked the HDP to the PKK, in the past and the majority of the HDP's leaders have been arrested on charges including refusing to answer the prosecutors' questions.

One HDP legislator said in November the arrests were anti-democratic and unlawful.

"Now with the HDP removed from the political equation, they will go to an early election and establish an authoritarian Turkey without the HDP, without any democratic opposition," said Adem Geveri.