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Who is behind violence against the Kurds?

Probes into a recent wave of mob violence against Kurds in Turkey suggest connivance between assailants, economic actors and the authorities.
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More than two decades after 33 intellectuals perished in the torching of the Madimak Hotel in the Turkish city of Sivas, those who believed that Turkey has matured and such violence is now left in the past have been proven wrong. Hundreds of mob attacks have targeted Kurds, Kurdish-owned businesses and the offices of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) since July 24 when Ankara launched military operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the PKK responded with bloody attacks. Some of the worst mob violence occurred on Sept. 8 in Kirsehir, a city known with its pluralist and democratic fabric. Last week, the public got an idea of what really unfolded in Kirsehir as horrific footage from security cameras, collected by the prosecutor, were leaked to the media.

The crowd, which had originally gathered for a march to condemn terrorism, set ablaze the local HDP office, a bookstore owned by a leftist Turk and an ethnic Circassian HDP member, as well as four Kurdish-owned businesses, and vandalized 32 other shops and homes.

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