Turkish daily says headquarters attacked by pro-Erdogan group

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called snap elections for November 1, 2015 (AFP Photo/Adem Altan) (AFP/File)

Istanbul (AFP) - Supporters of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Sunday stormed the headquarters of the Hurriyet newspaper in Istanbul after accusing the daily of misquoting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the publication said.

A group of 150 people chanting slogans supporting the AKP pelted the offices of Hurriyet in Istanbul's Bagcilar district with rocks, knocking out windows and the front door.

Riot police intervened to disperse the group, Hurriyet said on its website.

The assault came after several Turkish soldiers were killed on Sunday in a major attack in the Daglica district of southeastern Hakkari province, suspected to have been carried out by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants.

Commenting on recent unrest in Turkey, Erdogan said it would be different if people had voted in 400 deputies for a single party in June 7 elections to help him change the constitution.

"If a party had got 400 seats in the elections and reached the required number in parliament to change the constitution, the situation would be different," he said in a live interview with pro-government A-Haber channel.

Hurriyet suggested in a tweet that his statements were a reference to the Daglica attack, saying: "Daglica comment from Erdogan: This would not have happened if 400 mandates had been won."

The daily later deleted the tweet, which prompted a Twitter campaign by AKP supporters calling for protests against Hurriyet.

The president has in the past repeatedly criticised the Dogan Media Group which owns Hurriyet and does not always follow the government line.

The attack on the newspaper comes amid growing concern over press freedoms in Turkey and the use of the courts by the president to pursue journalists who criticise him.

Erdogan had appealed to his supporters to help elect 400 AKP lawmakers in June's vote, giving him the backing to rewrite the constitution -- and assume full executive powers himself.

He has now called new elections on November 1.

Critics have accused Erdogan of launching a cross-border military operation against the PKK with the aim of garnering nationalist votes.