Turkey jails another Kurdish deputy, bringing total to 14

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) deputy Burcu Çelik.

As part of an investigation launched into the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Burcu Çelik was arrested by a Muş court on Wednesday for “membership in an armed terrorist organization” and “attempting to destroy the unity of the state and nation.”

HDP deputy Çelik, who has reportedly criticized the widespread irregularities in her polling district during the controversial  referendum on Sunday which shifts Turkey’s parliamentary system to executive presidency with extreme powers with out any check and balance mechanism, was sent to Muş prison late on Wednesday. With the arrest of Çelik, the total number of the jailed pro-Kurdish deputies has reached to 14.

The HDP is the third largest political party of Turkey in terms of votes received in the last general election.

Beside of the systematic crackdown targeting the HDP, the party’s buildings and elections offices have been frequently attacked. The HDP has suffered 22 attacks in 2014, 106 attacks before the June 7 elections in 2015 and 36 attacks in 2016.

Also, according to HDP sources, 9,796 people affiliated with the HDP or DBP have been detained and 2,906 people have been arrested within the scope of operations targeting the pro-Kurdish parties since 22 July 2015. Moreover, since July 2016, a total of 5,471 people have been detained and 1,482 people have been arrested, including HDP Co-chairs Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ and other imprisoned deputies, reported in the application file.

Moreover, the number of local municipalities that have been taken away from elected mayors in predominantly Kurdish provinces has approached to 90. Turkish government 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 hundreds of local Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terror charges.

The systematic persecution targeting Kurds and elected Kurdish politicians have attracted widespread reactions from the region and Western countries. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) April 19, 2018

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