Turkish gov’t detains dozens of pro-Kurdish HDP, DBP members in İstanbul and İzmir

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) local office in İstanbul’s Kadikoy district was raided by the police early Tuesday while 55 members of HDP and the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) in İzmir province

Gazete Karınca has reported that the detention warrants were issued for co-chairs of the HDP branch in İstanbul’s Kadıkoy. “Police have been trying to break into our district building. We call on our sensible supporters to gather in front of our building,” HDP Kadıköy said on Twitter.

Police detained 5 people during the raids in Istanbul’s Kadıköy on Tuesday morning. The names of the detained are: Doğan Altınışık, Feyzullah Eren, Seyithan Eren, Kadir Keklik and Nihat Demir.

Meanwhile, police raided several houses in Çiğli, Kemalpaşa, Karşıyaka, Aliağa, Menemen, Balçova, Karabağlar, Tire and Torbalı districts of İzmir province and detained 51 members of HDP and DBP. Police are searching for 14 others who were not at home during the raids.

Co-chair of HDP’s local branch Sadık Varkan, Dilan Akpolat, Fidan Kişin, Nurali Kişin, Ufuk Kişin, Şakir Kurt, Mustafa Doğan, Rezzan Bozkurt, Pervin Esen and Mehmet Yılmaz are among the detained, according to a report by pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency.

State-run Anadolu news agency has reported on same police raids in İzmir province as Turkish security forces’s detention of 51 suspects linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Tuesday. Anadolu stated that “In a counterterrorism operation, police units in coordination with the National Intelligence Organization’s (MİT) regional directorate conducted raids in five districts of western İzmir province.”

According to the report by Anadolu, documents and digital equipment of the terrorist organisation, as well as a shotgun were seized in the operation.

Meanwhile, freelance journalist Sertaç Kayar was detained during a police raid on his home in Diyarbakır province on Tuesday, Gazete Duvar reported. According to the report police took Kayar to police headquarters for interrogation. Kayar’s family members said the police would release him after questioning but were not informed of the subject of the interrogation. Kayar was subsequently released by the police.

Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians since 2016. 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. Nine HDP deputies including co-chairpersons Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ are still in prison.

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