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Three Killed In Clash During Ruling Party Lawmaker’s Visit to Southeastern Turkey

Three people were killed and eight wounded when an armed skirmish took place between families of a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker and a Kurdish regional party official in Suruc district of the southeastern province of Sanliurfa on Thursday.

AKP lawmaker Ibrahim Halil Yildiz was visiting Suruc as part of his election campaign. He then engaged in a quarrel with pro-Kurdish Democrat Regions Party (DBP) official Esvet Senyasar. The quarrel devolved into a fight involving families.

Mehmet Ali Yildiz, brother of lawmaker Yildiz was killed in the armed fighting while Senyasar’s son Celal Sensayar also lost his life.

The fighting continued at the hospital where AKP lawmaker’s relatives attacked family members of Senyasar. The Turkish authorities deployed additional police and military troops as part of security measures to ensure the order and security in the tense town.

Health Minister Ahmet Misbah Demircan said an ambulance plane was sent to Sanliurfa for the wounded.

According to state-run Anadolu news agency, DBP supporters attacked the AKP lawmaker and his team, while left-leaning Arti Gercek report portrayed AKP’s Yildiz as the main responsible figure for the outbreak of the fight. According to Arti Gercek, Yildiz stabbed DBP official and started the fight.

Ahmet Esref Fakibaba, former Sanliurfa Mayor and current minister of Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, immediately went to the region to help authorities ensure calm and stability among the rival factions.

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