HDP deputy Mehmet Ali Aslan briefly detained in Turkey’s Batman province

HDP deputy Mehmet Ali Aslan.

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) Batman deputy Mehmet Ali Aslan was briefly detained by Turkish police in Batman Airport on Tuesday.  He was released later in the same day.

HDP’s Aslan has announced his detention on his personal Twitter account by saying: “I was planning to break fast in Ankara but it seems I won’t be able to. I am being detained at Batman Airport.”

Deputy Parliament Speaker and HDP deputy Pervin Buldan was also detained on Monday and later released in the same day. Buldan was detained at a hotel where she was staying in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Monday evening. She was subsequently taken to the Diyarbakır Courthouse where she testified to a prosecutor as part of an investigation launched against her due to speeches she delivered in 2009 and 2011. The HDP deputy was then released.

Speaking to reporters following her release, Buldan said: “The charges directed at me: the first one is attending March 8 [International Women’s Day event] and delivering a speech there, attending a Nevruz event and speaking there. Another one is to make a speech during the local elections campaign in 2009 in Ağrı. I committed these three crimes.”

The HDP deputy added that if these actions are considered crime, she will continue to commit them.

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 have arrested 11 HDP deputies including the party’s co-chairs.

Turkey has also arrested dozens of local Kurdish politicians on terrorism charges.

The developments have attracted widespread criticism from the region and Western countries.

June 13, 2017

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