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Turkish police say no attack on pro-Kurdish leader’s car

Demirtas, co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), talks to the media before casting his ballot at a polling station

Turkish police said on Monday that damage to the car of pro-Kurdish opposition leader Selahattin Demirtas was not caused by gunfire, after a party spokesman said it had been hit by a bullet in an apparent assassination attempt.

The spokesman for Demirtas’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had said the car’s rear window was hit on Sunday as he drove in the city of Diyarbakir in the largely Kurdish southeast.

But the city’s police said analysis of damage to a rear window in the car showed no evidence of gunfire.

“No remnants of gunfire were detected in the analysis. The assessment was made that the damage was caused by a blow from a hard object,” the police statement said, adding: “There was no attack on him or his vehicle.”

The HDP won seats in parliament for the first time in June’s election, helping deprive the ruling AK Party of its majority, and its vote remained above the 10 per cent threshold to stay in parliament in this month’s repeat poll, which the AK Party won.

HDP supporters have been targeted in bomb attacks in recent months, including one in the Turkish capital, Ankara, believed to have been carried out by Islamic State sympathisers that killed more than 100 people.

The party was also a facilitator in the ceasefire of the two-year ceasefire between the Kurdish militant group PKK and Turkey which collapsed in July.

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