Supporters of Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) at a rally as part of Nowruz (Newroz), or Kurdish New Year, celebrations in Diyarbakir, Turkey, 21 March 2023 Photo: EPA-EFE/SEDAT SUNA (courtesy – Balkan insight)
With just about 20 days to go before crucial elections in the country, Turkish police on Tuesday, April 25, arrested 110 people, including members of the opposition pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP). Those arrested were accused of ties with the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). Media reports said that among those held were several politicians, lawyers, and journalists.
Following the arrests, the deputy leader and member of parliament from the HDP Tayip Temel accused the government of trying to disrupt the party’s preparations for upcoming elections, scheduled to be held on May 14. He said, “On the eve of the election, out of fear of losing power, [government officials] have resorted to detention operations again.”
Temel further said that among those arrested were dozens of top members of his party who were detained from Diyarbakir, the Kurdish-majority region in the southeastern part of Turkey. The Diyarbakir bar association also noted that several of its members had been placed under arrest and that their lawyers were not allowed to visit them.
Media reports indicate that Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party are facing a tough fight in the presidential and parliamentary elections. While the HDP is not part of the main opposition alliance, its members might vote for the opposition’s presidential candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.