Kurdish man killed in alleged hate crime in Sakarya

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A Kurdish man died and his son was injured in an allegedly racist attack in the western province of Sakarya last week, according to reports in the Turkish media.

Kadir Sakçı and his son Burhan Sakçı were allegedly attacked by a man for speaking Kurdish on Dec. 16, family member Fahrettin Sakçı told ARTI TV.

The attacker, Hikmet Usta, approached the pair and asked if they were Kurdish. When the two men said yes, the attacker reportedly said, “I don’t like you, anyway,” and shot them. Both were injured, and the elder Sakçı died at the hospital.

The killer, who was subsequently detained in Bursa, claimed that he was drunk during the incident and does not remember anything.

As social media reactions mounted, the governor of Sakarya recently issued a statement denying that it was a racist attack. According to the statement, the attacker, who has a long police record and was drunk, had been warned by the victims about making a commotion and using profanity, which led to the altercation.

The governor’s office denied any talk of race among the attacker and the Kurdish men.

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