Kurdish Politicians Arrested in Simultaneous Raids Across Turkey: Updated
On Thursday morning Turkey’s police arrested 31 (see update below) Kurdish mayors, politicians and human rights activists in a raid ordered by the chief prosecutor’s office in Diyarbakir. According to Turkish officials, those arrested are suspected of ties to the political wing of the PKK. The raids were carried in 11 cities across Turkey and among the arrested are nine mayors of Kurdish towns. Those mayors and other arrested politicians are affiliated with the DTP, the Kurdish party that was banned by Turkey’s Constitutional Court this month.
This is the third raid ordered this year by Diyarbakir’s chief prosecutor’s office. Over 100 people were arrested in those raids for allegedly being connected to the PKK.
One of the men arrested was Muharrem Erbey, the Vice President of the Human Rights Association and President of the DiyarbakÄ±r branch of the HRA. You can read his letter from the day of his arrest over at Kurdish Commentary.
See a list of the detained Kurds here.
UPDATE: According to Bianet, more than 80 people were arrested in the raids. This morning (December 25), the nine mayors related to the DTP and 35 members of NGOs and human rights organizations were brought to the DiyarbakÄ±r judiciary.