Ten people have been arrested and jailed in connection with the killing of seven members of a Kurdish family in the central province of Konya last week, Turkish media outlets reported on Wednesday.
Seven members of the Dedeoğlu family were murdered last Friday by assailants who tried to burn their house down. Some members of the family had been injured in another attack in May by neighbors who warned them that they “will not let Kurds live here” in Konya.
The Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that 14 suspects had been taken into custody as part of the investigation into the murders and that work is under way to apprehend another suspected perpetrator who remains at large.
Ten suspects were arrested on charges of premeditated murder, while the remaining four were released on judicial probation, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The suspects under arrest include the wife, father, mother and sister of the fugitive suspect.
Following the attack, government officials had dismissed racist motives as the main factor behind it, saying instead that it was committed because of old hostilities between two families. Critics of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP), on the other hand, argued that the discriminatory and polarizing rhetoric of the AKP is responsible for the increase in violence targeting Kurds in the country.
Jailed former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş also held the government’s discriminatory policies and its rhetoric targeting various segments of society responsible for the attack.
Abdurrahman Karabulut, the lawyer for the Kurdish family, on Tuesday said he has been receiving death threats for representing the family.
Karabulut said he was made a target by Turkish government officials and the Konya governor, who argued that the attack was not racially motivated but rather due to a family feud.