Turkish government’s anti-Kurdish crackdown takes more toll: 30 people detained

As part of Turkish government’s ongoing political crackdown targeting Turkey’s 3rd biggest political party, pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Turkish police have detained numbers of people across Turkey on Monday.

Turkish police have carried out simultaneous house raids in İstanbul’s Arnavutköy, Bahçelievler, Bağcılar, Beyoğlu, Esenler, Pendik and Sancaktepe districts and detained 12 people on Monday morning. It was reported that 6 more people are sought in the scope of the same operation. The detainees have been taken to the anti-terror branch of İstanbul Police Department.

Also, HDP’s Tekirdağ provincial co-chair Kenan Yıldız was detained in a raid on his flat, and taken to provincial security directorate on Monday.

Meanwhile, 3 young people have been detained by the police in Bağlar neighbourhood of Diyarbakır’s Silvan district on Monday. It was reported that Turkish police have also detained 8 people in recent days in similar operations they carried out on the streets during the daytime.

In an early morning operation on Monday in Ankara against members and executives of HDP, 11 party members, including co-chairs of Etimesgut and Mamak districts, have been detained by police. The detainees have been taken to counter terrorism unit of Ankara Police Department. It was reported that journalist Deniz Nazım, Dihaber reporter, is also among the detainees.

Police have also detained Hamdullah Bayram of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper following a house raid in Urfa on Monday morning.

Also on Monday, two civilians were killed when outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants detonated a bomb as a vehicle was passing by in the Şemdinli district of Hakkari province. It was reported that the improvised explosives that were previously planted on a road were detonated as a civilian vehicle drove by in the village of Altınsu, where a curfew has been imposed.

Turkish authorities had conducted direct talks with jailed PKK chieftain Abdullah Öcalan for several years until a truce in effect collapsed in the summer of 2015. Since then, there have been heavy clashes between the PKK and Turkish security forces.

More than 40,000 people, including 5,500 security force members, have been killed in four decades of fighting between the Turkish state and the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

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