Turkish gov’t detains 34 including 70-year-old Kurdish imam on terror charges

At least 34 people have been detained by Turkish police in Adana over their alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Evrensel daily reported on Sunday.

According to the report, a 70-year old imam named Yusuf Süne was among the detainees and he is accused of having membership in an “armed terrorist organization” and “attempting to destroy the unity of the state and nation.”

The PKK is designated as a “terrorist organization” by Turkey. The 32-year-old conflict between Turkish army and PKK militants, which has claimed more than 40,000 lives, halted in March 2013 as part of the settlement process initiated between the PKK and the Turkish government. However, the ceasefire was ended in the summer of 2015.

There have been repeated clashes between security forces and the PKK militants since then. Nearly 200,000 locals in the Southeast have been forced to leave their homes due to fighting and curfews.

The Turkish General Staff recently released a statement, saying that a total of 1,000 members of the PKK were killed in the operations in the southeastern provinces of Şırnak and Mardin between March 14 and June 3.

The authorities have been imposing curfews in towns and districts to flush PKK militants from urban areas in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish Southeast since the collapse of the peace process. (turkeypurge.com)

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