U.S. expects Turkey to investigate attacks on Kurds, allegations of racism

A combined picture of a site where seven members of a Kurdish family were killed in Konya and a logo of U.S. State Department

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The United States expects Turkey to launch a “thorough investigation” into the killing of a Kurdish family in Konya, a U.S. State Department spokesperson told Esta Media Network on Sunday.

Seven members of a Kurdish family were killed in Konya by armed assailants who tried to burn their house in what rights activists said was a racist attack.

A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said the United States expected to respect human rights and investigate allegations of racism.

“It is in our shared interest for Turkey to be a stable, democratic, prosperous, and reliable Ally,” the spokesperson told Esta Media Network.

“We expect Turkey to respect and ensure a thorough investigation of this egregious act and any allegations of racism.”

The Dedeoglu family had been seriously injured in another attack in the middle of May by neighbors who warned them that they “will not let Kurds live here” in the region of Konya, according to AFP.

One of the dead members had complained in mid-July that the police and judges had been partial towards the May attackers who had been freed, and said the family feared for their lives.

Abdurrahman Karabulut, their lawyer, said the liberation of the perpetrators of the first attack signaled impunity.

According to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, a years-long feud between two families was behind the tragedy.

He said describing the attack as a racist crime was “a provocation.”

“This attack is not connected to the Turkish-Kurdish issue. Making a link to this is as dangerous as the attack,” he said on television.

But the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said there had been several attacks on Kurds over the years.

“The hate speech and provocation of the authorities is the main cause of this massacre,” said Mithat Sancar, HDP’s co-president.

It was the second deadly attack on Kurds in Konya in a month.

On July 21, a Kurdish farmer was killed in a village in Konya by attackers who shouted, “We don’t want Kurds here.”

Earlier this month, seven Kurdish workers were injured by a group of Turks in Derecine village in Turkey’s Sultandagi district, according to Mezopotamya news agency.

A Kurdish man and woman from Iranian Kurdistan were also attacked and beaten by a restaurant owner in Turkey this month.

The two showed bruises on their bodies in a video circulated on social media.

In May, another Kurdish family from the Kurdistan Region’s capital, Erbil, was also attacked by a group of Turks in Bozyazi district in Mersin.

Two members of the family including a father and a son were wounded.

In 2019, a group of tourists from the Kurdistan Region carrying a Kurdistan flag scarf was also attacked by locals in the city of Trabzon as they were trying to take pictures.

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