In a Third Massive Raid in Two Weeks, Turkey Arrests 20 More Kurds for Alleged Links to PKK


Hurriyet Daily News is reporting that Turkish authorities have arrested 20 more Kurds in simultaneous operations across Turkey for alleged connections to the Kurdish militia PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party). Anti-terrorism forces conducted 22 raids in locations the Southern and Eastern provinces Mersin, Gaziantep, Hatay and Adıyaman. All detainees were brought to Gaziantep City for questioning.

This is the third massive operation of its kind in just two weeks in Turkey. On December 25, 30 Kurdish politicians who are affiliated with the now banned DTP (Democratic Society Party) and activists were arrested in a simultaneous raid. On December 28, 24 more people were arrested in the cities of Van and Batman, most of them members of the DTP, its successor the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) and Kurdish activists. They were accused of being members if the KCK (Koma Civaken Kurdistan), an umbrella organization that includes the PKK.

The banning of the DTP by the Constitutional Court marked the beginning of this crackdown. As the government, or at least some elements in it are trying to promote the Kurdish Initiative to grant more rights to the Kurds, other more conservative elements, especially the judiciary, continue to think that the “Kurdish problem” needs to be solved by force. They should know that arresting Kurdish politicians will not lead to peace, just more radicalization.