66-year-old Sultan Ogras, who was stabbed in the throat and underarm in Brussels on Thursday by a pro-Turkish government mob, has said the perpetrator attacked her in “Islamic State fashion.”
Three people were injured in the attack near the Turkish Embassy where people had amassed to vote in Turkey’s constitutional referendum.
“We were in discussion with a few friends. Three people carrying [Turkish] flags were staring at us. We withdrew but they came towards us and covered ‘Vote No’ stickers with ‘Vote Yes’ ones. I told them to go elsewhere. Then they attacked us,” Ogras told Firat News Agency.
The elderly Kurdish woman added that one of the attackers had chased her and began hitting her in the middle of the street. “He kept hitting me. I didn’t know what to do. He sat on top of me and continued hitting. I was covered in blood. Like Isis he had come to behead me. He stabbed me in the throat and then under my arm.”
According to Firat News Agency the attacker has been identified as Mehmet Gargili. Photos of the attacker accompanying Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in trips to Belgium were released by the Europe based news agency.
Clashes erupted outside the Embassy following the attack, as voters for and against the reform, came to blows. The attackers were harboured inside the embassy, according to reports.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel denounced the attack on Kurdish voters saying, “The government applies absolutely zero tolerance for the excesses surrounding the Turkish referendum. I strongly condemn the violence front of the embassy.”
Turkey’s upcoming referendum has polarised society both inside and outside the country as the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party continues employing a rhetoric accusing those voting against the reform “terrorists”.
The 18-article reform will give the country’s president sweeping executive powers, including immunity from prosecution and the right to dissolve parliament. The government claims the reform will strengthen the country’s resolve against all its enemies.
It is not known whether the suspect has been arrested by police.