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CHP leader punched in Parliament; parties, politicians condemn attack.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kylycdaroy-lu was punched in the face while heading to a weekly party meeting in Parliament on Tuesday, an incident that has been strongly condemned by many political parties and politicians.

A man reportedly identified as Orhan Euvet attacked Kylycdaroy-lu in front of the parliamentary office of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in the Parliament building while the CHP leader was heading to a meeting hall to address his party on the results of the local March 30 elections. The bodyguards of the CHP leader intervened in the attack.

The BDP has denied any link to the assailant, saying that he is in no way connected to the party.

In his speech during the first weekly parliamentary group meeting after the local polls, the CHP leader said he will not back down after one punch.

The assailant appears to have ultra-nationalist sympathies and initial reports after police questioning revealed the suspect's name and that he is affiliated with Alperen Ocaklary, the youth branch of the opposition Grand Unity Party (BBP).

However, Alperen Ocaklary denied any link to Euvet. Releasing a written statement on Tuesday, the branch said that contrary to what some reports following the assault have claimed, the suspect Euvet has nothing to do with the branch.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an said he strongly condemns the attack on the CHP leader, adding that he called Kylycdaroy-lu to wish him well.

Parliament Speaker Cemil Ecicek paid a visit to Kylycdaroy-lu at his office in Parliament on Tuesday to see how the CHP leader was doing. Ecicek also condemned the incident.

Based on frequent posts on the suspect's Facebook page, it is unclear what his political leanings and motivation for the assault could be. Euvet has shared photos on the social media platform of figures like Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya, Erdoy-an, slain leftist student Deniz GezmiE-, gang leader Abdullah Ecatly and former BBP leader Muhsin Yazycyoy-lu, who was killed during a helicopter accident in 2009.

Political parties condemn attack

The CHP released a written statement on Tuesday condemning the attack in which the party's leader was targeted. "Such vicious attacks, no matter who they are carried out by, will not be able to block the ongoing struggle being led by our chairman for democracy, freedom, brotherhood, peace and unity. We will determinedly continue our walk to be the country's ruling party," the CHP said in its statement.

Messages condemning the attack were also released by other parliamentary parties soon after the incident. In a written statement, the BDP said its party condemns the attack directed at Kylycdaroy-lu and that some reports claiming the assailant was a BDP member have been published in the media. It underlined that such reports are not a reflection of the truth. The BDP emphasized that the attacker has nothing to do with the BDP.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) released a written statement saying that the party harshly condemns those who perpetrated the assault. The AK Party defined the incident as an attack against democracy and freedom of expression.

Some politicians also condemned the incident via Twitter on Tuesday. AK Party parliamentary deputy group chairman Mahir E[pounds sterling]nal said he condemned the attack carried out in Parliament, a place considered to be the headquarters of democracy in Turkey.

AK Party deputy E[currency]amil Tayyar said the assault on Kylycdaroy-lu was "unethical and undignified."

CHP deputy SE-leyman Ecelebi said his party will not allow those who want to create an environment of violence in the country to reach their goals, adding that the CHP will continue to fight against this bullying with determination.

Independent yzmir deputy Ertuy-rul GE-nay said he harshly condemns the "hateful" assault on the CHP leader.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Apr 8, 2014
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