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10 Arrested in Turkey in Deaths of 7 from Kurdish Family

10 Arrested in Turkey in Deaths of 7 from Kurdish Family

Authorities said Saturday that 10 suspects had been detained in the killing of seven people from an ethnic Kurdish family in Turkey’s central Konya province.The members of the Dedeoglu family were killed in a brutal gun attack Friday. Officials said they had not yet apprehended the gunman. A statement from the Konya prosecutor’s office said initial evidence pointed to an ongoing fight between two families who lived in the same area.But the family’s lawyer and the pro-Kurdish opposition party said the killings were ethnically motivated. After an attack in May, one member of the family — who was among Friday’s victims — told reporters that they were being harassed and attacked for being Kurdish.Lawyer Abdurrahman Karabulut said family members had worried they would be attacked again.Years of frictionThe prosecutor’s office said in a statement that enmity between the two families dated to 2010. Two fights in 2021 led to investigations; two people remain in custody because of those probes, but other suspects were released. The statement rejected the claim of a racially motivated attack.There were few details given about those arrested, but media reports said the other family was not Kurdish.The co-leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said the ethnic Kurdish family members were killed because of hate speech and linked it to a rise in what he called racist attacks. Mithat Sancar accused the government of targeting the HDP and Kurds in general.Media reports said the family’s house was set on fire after the attack.Turkey has been fighting a Kurdish insurgency since 1984 and the conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives, including civilians targeted by car bombs in 2016 and 2017 that were blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The decadeslong conflict has also included discriminatory state policies and an ethnically charged atmosphere. Kurds are Turkey’s second-largest ethnic group.Interior minister Suleyman Soylu said allegations that the killings were ethnically motivated were a provocation against the country’s unity.


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