CHP files criminal complaint against Ankara gendarmerie commander for Kılıçdaroğlu assault

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Turkey’s main opposition party on Friday filed a criminal complaint against Brig. Gen. Ünsal Bulut, the gendarmerie commander of Ankara province, for misconduct, accusing him of failing to maintain order during a physical attack on the party’s leader in the Turkish capital’s Çubuk district, the Diken news website reported.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was assaulted by an angry mob on April 21 during the funeral of a Turkish soldier who died during an armed conflict with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists.

According to the opposition party, it was a premediated and organized attempt at the lynching of its chair, which security officials failed to prevent.

Nine suspects were detained after the incident, but only one of them was arrested. The suspect was later released pending trial.

A CHP fact-finding mission claimed that a passage opened for ruling party members when the incident started was not made available to Kılıçdaroğlu.

Three hundred gendarmes and 152 police officers who were at the scene failed to intervene. The angry crowd was held back by Kılıçdaroğlu’s bodyguards and CHP members for around 30 minutes.

CHP executives blamed Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu for the attack, while Soylu denied responsibility and claimed it was Kılıçdaroğlu’s fault for participating in the funeral in disregard of public sentiment.

Pro-government media accused Kılıçdaroğlu of making a political alliance with the pro-Kurdish opposition party, which has usually been depicted by that media as an extension of the PKK.

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