One Dead, Four Injured in Post-election Violence in Southeast Türkiye

People enjoy the view from the Galata Bridge, backdropped by the Suleymaniye Mosque, two days after the general elections, in Istanbul, Türkiye, 16 May 2023. (EPA)
People enjoy the view from the Galata Bridge, backdropped by the Suleymaniye Mosque, two days after the general elections, in Istanbul, Türkiye, 16 May 2023. (EPA)
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One Dead, Four Injured in Post-election Violence in Southeast Türkiye

People enjoy the view from the Galata Bridge, backdropped by the Suleymaniye Mosque, two days after the general elections, in Istanbul, Türkiye, 16 May 2023. (EPA)
People enjoy the view from the Galata Bridge, backdropped by the Suleymaniye Mosque, two days after the general elections, in Istanbul, Türkiye, 16 May 2023. (EPA)

The brother of an opposition candidate was killed and four other people injured in clashes between opponents and supporters of the newly elected ruling-party mayor of a city district in a predominantly Kurdish region of southeastern Türkiye.

Supporters of President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party (AKP) clashed with backers of the opposition DEVA (Remedy) Party in the Pervari district of the city of Siirt on Tuesday night, following local elections on Sunday in which the opposition mostly performed well across Türkiye.

In the district, the AKP candidate for mayor won with 52% of the vote, while the DEVA candidate placed second with 40%.

The governor's office said five people had been hurt in the clashes, one of whom died of his wounds. The DEVA deputy chairman Mehmet Emin Ekmen identified the person who died as the brother of the party's candidate.

DEVA was one of six parties in the opposition alliance before May 2023 general elections when Erdogan secured another 5-year mandate and his ruling alliance a parliamentary majority.

Police are investigating the incident and six people were detained, the Siirt governor's office said, adding that it had imposed a curfew in Pervari district until Thursday morning for security reasons.

Protests also spread elsewhere in Türkiye's southeastern provinces on Tuesday night, after Turkish authorities prevented the newly elected mayor from the pro-Kurdish DEM party taking up his post in the city of Van, and announced a re-run vote in Sanilurfa's Hilvan district where AKP lost, Reuters reported.

Footage showed protesters in Batman province firing firecrackers at police, who sprayed them with water cannons, while scores of security personnel were stationed around Hakkari city, where protests also took hold.



Stockholm Accuses Iran of Using Criminals in Sweden to Target Israel

A police vehicle on patrol in Sweden. Reuters file photo
A police vehicle on patrol in Sweden. Reuters file photo
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Stockholm Accuses Iran of Using Criminals in Sweden to Target Israel

A police vehicle on patrol in Sweden. Reuters file photo
A police vehicle on patrol in Sweden. Reuters file photo

Sweden's domestic security agency on Thursday accused Iran of using established criminal networks in Sweden as a proxy to target Israeli or Jewish interests in the Scandinavian country.
The accusations were raised at a news conference by Daniel Stenling, the head of the SAPO agency's counterespionage unit, following a series of events earlier this year.
In late January, the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm was sealed off after what was then described as “a dangerous object” was found on the grounds of the diplomatic mission in an eastern Stockholm neighborhood. Swedish media said the object was a hand grenade.
The embassy was not evacuated and the object was eventually destroyed. No arrests were made and authorities did not say what was found. On May 17, gunshots were heard near the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm and the area was cordoned off. No one was arrested.
According to The Associated Press, Stenling said, without offering specifics or evidence to back up his assertion, that the agency "can establish that criminal networks in Sweden are used as a proxy by Iran.”
“It is very much about planning and attempts to carry out attacks against Israeli and Jewish interests, goals and activities in Sweden," he said and added that the agency sees "connections between criminal individuals in the criminal networks and individuals who are connected to the Iranian security services.”
Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer and Hampus Nygårds, deputy head of the Swedish police's National Operations Department, were also at the online news conference with Stenling.
“We see this connection between the Iranian intelligence services, the security services and precisely criminals in the criminal networks in Sweden," Stenling said. “We see that connection and it also means that we need to work much more internationally to get to the crimes and be able to prevent them.”
Stenling and the others made no mention of the recent incidents connected to the Israel Embassy and stopped short of naming any criminal groups or suspects.
Sweden has grappled with gang violence for years and criminal gangs often recruit teenagers in socially disadvantaged immigrant neighborhoods to carry out hits.
By May 15, police have recorded 85 shootings so far this year, including 12 fatal shootings. Last year, 53 people were killed and 109 were wounded in a total of 363 shootings.