HDP protest in Istanbul: Behind racism lies state policy

The HDP Youth Council protested in Istanbul against the murder of a young Kurd in Ankara. HDP member of parliament Musa Piroğlu referred to the murder of George Floyd and said: "If racism is rampant in a country, the state is behind it.”

The Youth Council of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has protested in Istanbul against the murder of the young Kurd Barış Çakan in Turkish capital Ankara. The twenty-year-old was stabbed to death by three attackers in front of his apartment on Sunday evening after listening to Kurdish music on his balcony.

The rally in front of the HDP building in the Kadiköy district was joined by members of the Youth Council, as well as MP Musa Piroğlu and HDP Istanbul branch co-chair Elif Bulut. The crowd chanted "shoulder to shoulder against fascism" and "Repression cannot intimidate us".

HDP deputy Musa Piroğlu held a speech in which he first pointed out the worldwide protests against the murder of George Floyd by a policeman in the USA. Racism has become a state policy, he said and added: "If racism is rampant in a country, the state is behind it.”

What happens in the USA also happens in Turkey, said Piroğlu and pointed out that Barış Çakan was only murdered for listening to Kurdish music. "We know that behind the aggression against the Kurds is the government's policy. So far we have not bowed to the coercive administrators or any other method of oppression. We won't do so in the future either. We will continue to take to the streets to stand up for freedom and rights."

Afterwards, Cesur Yilmaz read out a statement by the HDP Youth Council which emphasised that the government's policy is aimed at annihilating the Kurdish people: "We say once again here and now: Racism and fascism are a disease and the greatest crime. The government has mobilised all forces to kill Kurdish youth. The racist policy of the AKP has spread to the whole country. But this policy will not lead to any result, it must be abandoned immediately."