A total of 48 people, including politicians and a journalist critical of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), were detained as part of an İzmir-based counterterrorism operation carried out early on Thursday morning, Turkish Minute reported, citing the Mezopotamya news agency.
According to Mezopotamya, among those detained were Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) Co-chair Özlem Gümüştaş and former İzmir provincial chairs Pınar Türk and Kerim Altınmakas, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) member Sıtkı Güngör and Pınar Gayıp, a correspondent for the Etkin News Agency (ETHA).
The operation was carried out simultaneously across 12 provinces by counterterrorism and intelligence officers as part of an investigation launched by the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, which issued detention warrants for 52 people.
The state-run Anadolu news agency reported that the detentions were the result of an investigation into several outlawed groups, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist (TKP/ML) and the Revolutionary Socialist Workers’ Movement (DSİH).
The detentions took place after police reportedly raided ESP headquarters in Ankara’s Çankaya district, the party’s provincial buildings and some of the district offices in İzmir and İstanbul, ETHA’s İstanbul office and the office of the Foundation of Science, Education, Aesthetics, Culture and Art Research (BEKSAV) in the Kadıköy district of İstanbul.
Officers broke down the doors of the ESP’s district office in the Karşıyaka district of İzmir, MA said, adding that they seized a number of documents, digital materials and TL 50,000 ($6,770) during four-hour-long searches of the ESP buildings and offices as part of the operation.