Turkey: Several injured in clash between opposition and ruling party youth members
Several people were injured Tuesday night when members of Turkey’s ruling and opposition parties clashed outside a shopping centre in the city of Gaziantep, with the two parties trading blame for the incident.
The local office of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said four members of the party’s youth branch were injured and taken to hospital after Republican People's Party (CHP) youth members beat them with sticks, stones and bottles.
The AKP youth branch members had been handing out campaign leaflets, AKP Gaziantep said on Twitter, as national elections draw close.
AKP Gaziantep accused the CHP of having "revealed their true intentions" with the attack.
Mehmet Neset Ucar, a local MP from the CHP, said in a tweet on Tuesday evening that two members of the CHP’s youth branch had been taken to hospital after being beaten by CHP members.
Ucar also posted a video to Twitter, purportedly of the attack.
"The yellow vests attacking our young people who dance and sing are AKP members," the tweet accompanying the video read.
The violence comes amid a tight race for the Turkish presidency and parliament seats, with an election to take place Sunday.
Earlier this week, senior CHP member and Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu was pelted with stones while campaigning on behalf of the party in Erzurum, in Turkey’s northeast.
Imamoglu has been promised the post of vice president if the CHP's Kemal Kilicdaroglu is able to clinch the presidency.