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Kurdish man alleges racist attack by police officer pretenders

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A 22-year-old Kurdish man in the northwestern Turkish province of Kocaeli has claimed that he was subjected to a racially motivated attack by three individuals over the weekend who introduced themselves as police officers, the Gazete Karınca news website reported on Monday.

The young man, referred to only by his initials M.A., said he was kidnapped on June 22 by three men who introduced themselves as police officers, taken to a remote and deserted area in the city, beaten up and subjected to racist remarks.

He said the attackers told him leave him the city, or else he would face severe consequences.

“I couldn’t understand why they attacked me. I was so anxious. I asked them to show me a police ID, but they did not. They insulted me with racist words, told me to leave the city. They hit me on the back with batons. They told me terrorists should leave the city,” said M.A.

Kurdish people, who make up around 20 percent of Turkey’s population, have long faced discrimination and social exclusion in daily life due to their ethnic roots as many people see them as being linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984.

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