Explosions at HDP Rally in Diyarbakır

5th of June, HDP was holding a massive election rally in Diyarbakır with hundreds of thousands of people attending. Just as co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş was about to address the crowd, bombs started going off – two successive explosions happened. Shortly after, Police started attacking the mass with tear gas and water cannons. 350 were injured and there are 4 casualties as of now. Nevertheless HDP masses are maintaining restraint, acknowledging this event as an attempt at pre-electoral provocation carried out by the AKP – a document that possibly further confirms this has also surfaced, indicating the government possibly had foreknowledge about the attack. General elections are due to be held on the 7th of June.


Initially after the first explosion, since it happened near the close-by electric transformer, it was thought to be an infrastructural malfunction. But when the second one went off, there remained little room for doubt. The bombings were then followed up with Police aggression.

As of last night, 4 people, including a 16 year-old, have lost their lives and 350 were injured – of which more than 15 are in surgery with grievous wounds.

Nevertheless, in these days approaching the election, the HDP masses have remained incredibly steadfast and patient.

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Banner reads: “PEACE in spite of everything”

Two separate explosions happened with 5 minutes in between. One of the bombs was placed inside a trash bin near the electric transformer and the other closer to the stage, in a street-vendor’s cart. There is a possibility that these bombs were placed earlier, since the Police did not show any effort in securing the area beforehand.

The bombs consisted of high-explosives and hundreds of metal balls stuffed inside picnic-sized gas cylinders. The metal balls acted as anti-personnel shrapnel upon impact, which caused many dismembering injuries among the wounded. The bombs were possibly set off by the use of mobile phones. CCTV footage is being combed for any clues pertaining to the bombing.

Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh2LPxKb3x8

While the wounded were being carried to ambulances; the Police forces, who had been patrolling the area with armored cars beforehand, had already started attacking the remainders of the rally with tear gas and water cannons.

Security forces have also -probably deliberately- failed to secure the area before, during and after the rally. TOMAs sprayed the explosions’ splash areas, wiping everything clean with their high-pressure water cannons and the traffic was also not stopped – this was considered as an attempt at spoliation of evindence.

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Video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkpU5FBkwPI

In the meanwhile an official notice sent three days prior to the attack by the Governership of Diyarbakır to the Secretary of Public Hospitals Association has surfaced, possibly indicating the government had foreknowledge about the attack. The notice warns the Hospitals Association telling them to up their capacity “in case of necessity”.


Highlighted paragraph reads: “To the Secretary of the Association of Public Hospitals; in case of possible injuries and loss of life, all capacities (facilities, equipment, material and personnel) are to be reviewed and internal arrangements are to be made for their preparation for use when necessary.”

During the rally, the Central İmam Hatip Highschool which is situated near the electric transformer where the first bomb went off, was evacuated following a bomb call. Students and staff were evacuated using the back door of the school instead of the front. It is unknown whether or not any further investigations took place after this initial bomb call.

In the morning of the next day, 6th of June, Çekmeköy and Sancaktepe neighborhoods of İstanbul saw Police raids targeting several homes. 12 people were detained – some of which are HDP members, youth and electoral observers. The number of detainees may yet rise.

Police raids of similar nature have also been carried out in Bitlis and Tatvan provinces, 9 people were detained.

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