The Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has stated that over 318 people including party administrators, provincial-district co-chairs and members have been detained on Monday and vowed to continue organizing ‘no’ campaign for the upcoming referendum despite all attempts for repression.
In a written statement, HDP has announced that more than 318 people including administrators, provincial-district co-chairs and members of the party have been detained in İstanbul, İzmir, Van, Adana, Adıyaman, Kocaeli, Antep, Siirt, Bingöl, Malatya, Bursa and Ağrı provinces and their districts on Monday.
“The operations against our party have continued increasingly without a pause since the coup attempt of July 15, 2016. As many as 859 administrators, provincial-district co-chairs and members of our party were detained and 112 of them were arrested since the first day of 2017,” said in the statement.
According to the data given by the HDP, a total of 9.796 people have been detained in operations against the party and its constituents since 22.07.2015. 2.906 of these detained people were arrested, including Co-chairs, deputies, provincial-district co-chairs, administrators and members of the party.
In the written statement, the HDP has also claimed that the main goal of the police operations, escalated after the decision of the referendum date, is to make a referendum without the HDP.
“What they want to obstruct through detentions and arrests is the ‘no’ outcome itself. We will not bow before this atrocity and repression. HDP remains committed more than ever to the struggle it promised to the peoples of Turkey. Those who think they can stop us by means of detentions, arrests and political genocide will see that they will not be able to wipe out the peoples’ commitment to freedom, peace and democracy,” said in the statement.
Last Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approved the 18-article constitutional reform package, which will be put to a referendum on April 16. After his approval, President Erdoğan has said those who will vote against a constitutional reform package which among other things brings an executive presidency in Turkey are actually taking side with the coup plotters who perpetrated a failed coup attempt on July 15.
Seventy members and administrators from the HDP were detained only in İstanbul on Monday following raids in their homes. After İstanbul prosecutors issued detention warrants for 104 HDP members and administrators, police teams on Monday conducted raids in 104 locations and detained as many as 70 people. Special forces units and helicopters assisted the police officers during the raids.
Also, 26 suspects, who were claimed to be outlawed PKK members, were arrested in southern province of Adana, 60 more in southern province of Mersin, 35 in western province of İzmir , 11 in eastern province of Van, 12 in southern province of Antalya and 24 in eastern province Malatya, police sources said.
Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians in recent months. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while Turkish courts in late 2016 arrested 11 HDP deputies, including the party’s Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. One of these deputies, İdris Baluken, was released in early February but two other HDP deputies were arrested at the same time. There are currently 12 HDP deputies behind bars.
Feb. 13, 2017