Eleven thousand pro-Kurdish party members arrested in Turkey: HDP

HDP branch in Istanbul's Esenler district came under fire by unidentified individuals in the early hours of Tuesday.
author_image Ari Khalidi

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - Authorities in Turkey have arrested about 11 thousand pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) members in the last two years and put four thousand and five hundred of them in prison, a lawmaker revealed on Tuesday.

Addressing the parliamentary group of HDP, the party's spokesperson and MP Ayhan Bilgen said, of those put in prison or pre-trial imprisonment 750 were heads of township branches.

Among them are the party's co-leader Selahattin Demirtas and ten other lawmakers who the police arrested in simultaneous midnight house raids a year ago.

Bilgen said HDP's local branch in Istanbul's Esenler district came under armed attack by unidentified individuals in the early hours of the day, with shots fired at its windows and walls in an apartment.

Nobody was harmed during the assault.

"We are facing all kinds of repression. Days ago deputy Speaker Pervin Buldan was in Esenler, attending a panel. After that, some people engaged in a provocation that our staff prevented," he said.

"But the provocation continued on social media, and they started a lynching campaign against our branch there which culminated in that midnight shots on our building," Bilgen added.

"Whatever way you may try, this party will overcome these difficult days. Our people have been through much harder processes. It will neither be afraid nor bow or give up the cause," Bilgen said, reported Kurdistan 24's Ankara bureau.

HDP's sister Democratic Regions' Party (DBP) have also come under the crackdown, with over two thousand 500 of its own members, including 80 mayors remaining in prisons across Turkey.


Editing by Sam A.