Senior PKK member’s statue erected in southeastern Turkey

DHA Photo

A statue of Mahsum Korkmaz, one of the founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), was erected in southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Aug. 16.

The statue was opened on the anniversary of the first attacks by PKK militants in Hakkari’s Şemdinli district and Siirt’s Eruh district in 1984, in a cemetery that was opened last year in the Lice district for PKK members. Korkmaz was killed by security forces in 1986.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Diyarbakır lawmaker Nursel Aydoğan and the co-chairs of the Party of Democratic Regions (DBP), Emine Ayna and Kamuran Yüksek, attended the opening ceremony.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Develt Bahçeli has condemned the statue, saying Prime Minister and president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is responsible for an “ugly attack” and adding that the votes cast for Erdoğan in the Aug. 10 presidential election “went to the PKK.”

“It is a fact that every single vote cast for Erdoğan went to the PKK, encouraged those [militants] in Kandil and gave them hope,” Bahçeli said in a written statement. He also highlighted the timing of the incident, saying that it was not surprising that the statue was opened after Aug. 10.

“The attempt not only makes our martyrs turn in their graves, but is also an open, clear and ugly attack on Turkey’s national, moral and historical rights,” Bahçeli said, claiming that this was a result of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) “tolerance of the PKK.”

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