As thousands of people continued on Thursday to bid farewell to police officers killed by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), funerals held in the hometowns of the martyrs were marked by widespread vocal condemnation of both the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government and the PKK.
During the funeral held for Kadir Özkaya, one of the police officers killed in a PKK bomb attack on a minibus in the eastern province of Iğdır on Tuesday, hundreds chanted slogans against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his son Bilal, saying, “Tayyip, enlist your son in the military” and “Tayyip, send your son to die.” Özkaya’s parents and relatives were inconsolable as they embraced his coffin.
Hasan Özkaya, the brother of the fallen officer, was in tears as he spoke to the press, accusing the AK Party of sharing the blame with the PKK for the deaths of members of the security forces, as the clashes erupted immediately after the AK Party lost its ability to form a single-party government in the June 7 general election.
There have been increasing numbers of people being killed in clashes across Turkey ever since the interim Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government lost its parliamentary majority on June 7 for the first time since coming to power in 2002. Since the June election, 120 members of the police force and the military have been killed in clashes with the PKK.