Erdogan says Diyarbakir blasts aim to 'overshadow' vote

Erdogan says Diyarbakir blasts aim to
# 06 June 2015 03:26 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday blasts in Diyarbakir were aimed at overshadowing Sunday's Turkish parliamentary elections. Two people were killed and more than 100 others injured, according to Turkish Agriculture Minister Mehmet Mehdi Eker, in two consecutive explosions at an election rally of pro-Kurdish opposition People's Democratic Party (HDP) in the southeastern Diyarbakir province Friday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

"It is obvious that the blasts aim to overshadow [Sunday's elections]," Erdogan said in a live televised interview at A Haber TV channel. "Democratic expansion, national unity and brotherhood projects and solution process. There are groups who want to overshadow these things."

The blasts took place near the Diyarbakir's Istasyon Square where the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) was holding an election rally.

Erdogan also said a special team from Ankara will make investigations at the blast area and "it will be figured out if it was an attack".

"We said earlier, the government and myself, that we are going to look after the solution process,"Erdogan said.

The “solution process” refers to the 2013 initiative of the AK Party government that aims to end the decades-old conflict with the PKK, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people.

Erdogan also said he was having a hard time reaching HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtas to deliver a "get well soon message".

"I am delivering this message via this live televised interview, and we have already published a message through our press office," the president said.

The presidency's press office released a message after the attack, offering condolences to victims' families and wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

"It is important for our citizens to be careful with these provocations against our country's peace and brotherhood," the press office message said.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz ruled out that the explosions were caused by a roadside power grid as preliminary reports earlier indicated.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu took immediate notice of the incident and ordered authorities to investigate the nature of the blasts.

Following the explosions, some groups of people pelted stones on the police in Diyarbakir’s Ofis district. A police vehicle was also set on fire. Police responded with tear gas and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the protesters.

Violent acts have recently spoiled the HDP campaign. Two vehicles belonging to the HDP came under attack this week in two separate incidents in eastern Turkey. One driver was killed and another injured in the attacks.

The HDP is standing as a party for the first time in Turkey’s general election on Sunday, seeking to pass the 10 percent threshold that will allow it to gain seats in the Grand National Assembly.

The party currently has lawmakers who stood as independents in the 2011 election and joined the party after being elected.

More than 53 million Turkish voters head to the polls on Sunday in perhaps the country’s most eagerly awaited general election in a decade.

The vote will see 550 deputies from among 20 political parties and 165 independent candidates elected to the Turkish Grand National Assembly, representing 85 constituencies in 81 provinces for a four-year term.