Sunday, September 27, 2020

Turkey Arrests 82 Kurdish officials

Sept 27, 2020.

Turkish police have carried out arrest warrants issued by Ankara’s Public Prosecutor for 82 people linked to protests following the Islamic State’s takeover of the Syrian city of Kobani that took place in October 2014.

Dozens of members of the pro-Kurdish HDP (People’s Democratic Party), activists, and journalists were arrested on Friday, including elected HDP co-mayor of Kars, Ayhan Bilgen, and former HDP lawmaker Sirri Süreyya Önder.

The HDP blamed the right-wing alliance between the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the arrest campaign.

“Our former executives have been detained on the pretext of the 2014 Kobani protests. We proposed many motions for a parliamentary inquiry on this issue but they were all turned down by AKP and MHP,” the official HDP account said in a tweet. “We will continue our struggle for justice. We will not be silenced!”

According to the party, the decision “for today’s revenge operation on the HDP was taken at yesterday’s National Security Council meeting and at the chief prosecutor’s wedding visit at the Palace.”

Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Yüksel Kocaman was married on Saturday. His guests included multiple officials from the ruling AKP party and the Turkish government. A day later, Kocaman met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace.

This week, a new indictment was launched against the former HDP co-chairman Selahattin Demirtas seeking up to a three-year jail sentence for criticizing Kocaman’s visit to President Erdogan after his wedding. Demirtas has been in prison since November 2016

“As AKP-MHP crumble, they seek to eliminate the opposition, yet the HDP will never bow down,” the HDP added.

The Ankara Public Prosecution blamed the HDP officials for “inciting violence” for deadly Kurdish riots and clashes with police over the Islamic State (IS) attack on the town of Kobani in Syrian Kurdistan six years ago.

Demirtas has also been accused in the past by the government for being involved in riots.

Public unrest began after Erdogan said in October 2014, “Kobani is on the verge of falling,” in a promising tone as the besieged town’s Kurdish defenders began receiving much-needed air support from the US-led Coalition.

The HDP then urged people to take to the streets to protest the Islamic State’s assault on Kobani and to also condemn Erdogan’s government for its perceived support of the extremist group.

The protests turned violent and clashes between various groups led to the killing of at least 43 people, including 33 HDP supporters, six members of a Kurdish-Islamist group, two police officers, and two Syrian refugees.

Kurdistan24, Hurriyet Daily News,