Turkey arrests 19 suspects over armed attack on ruling party lawmaker

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Ankara, June 17 (IANS) At least 19 suspects were arrested on Saturday over the recent armed attack on ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members in southeast Turkey, said a Xinhua news agency report.

The suspects included Ismail Kaplan, a parliamentary candidate of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) and some district officials of HDP and Democratic Regions Party were arrested in Sanliurfa, the Anadolu Agency reported.

They were arrested according to the arrest warrants for 23 suspects issued by the chief public prosecutor’s office, the report said.

On Thursday, four people were killed and eight others were injured in an attack on AKP lawmaker Ibrahim Halil Yildiz and other party workers campaigning in Sanliurfa’s Suruc district.

Yildiz survived the attack with no injuries, but his older brother Mehmet Ali Yildiz was wounded in the attack and later died in the hospital.

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In April, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced to hold snap presidential and legislative elections on June 24, brought forward from late 2019, in a move expected to consolidate his power by shifting the country’s parliamentary system to a presidential one.

–IANS

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