27 March 2016
The detainment and imprisoning of opposition forces, primarily Kurds, continues across Turkey and North Kurdistan.
More than a thousand people have been detained in the past two weeks, with more than 300 being arrested and imprisoned. Local politicians, academics, journalists, students and children are part of the latest clamp down against critics of the president and government.
Operations were carried out in Izmir, Mugla, Aydin, Denizli and Manisa as 95 people, some of them HPD executives were detained, with 31 being charged and sent to prison. In Istanbul 12 children, 5 students, a total of 173 people were detained, 18 were sent to prison. 4 members of the music group, Grup Yorum, and 7 members of the Revolutionary Youth (DEV-GENC) were also detained. 6 lawyers belonging to the Libertarian Lawyers Association were arrested and imprisoned. 3 academics who signed the “We will not be a party to this crime” petition, Muzaffer Kaya, Esra Mungan and Kivanc Ersoy have also been imprisoned. 6 out of 12 HDP members detained in Bursa following Newroz celebrations were also charged and imprisoned. 10 students celebrating Newroz were detained in Kocaeli and a further 7 students were beaten and detained for protesting this. The HDP co-chair for Sakarya, and HPD executives in Yalova, as well as many students were also detained.
State targeting children
A total of 234 people were detained in Adana, Mersin, Maras, Antalya and Osmaniye, with 86 sent to prison. 59 people were detained in Ankara, Konya, Eskisehir and Kirsehir, with 9 imprisoned. In Diyarbakir 18, including 3 journalists, and 8 people in Silvan were detained. 12 people of 19 were imprisoned in Mardin and its districts. 3 people were imprisoned in Gaziantep. In Adiyaman police detained 9 HDP and DBP executives.
In Sirnak and its districts 27 people were detained, while in Siirt 36 people were detained with 1 being imprisoned. 14 people including 2 children were imprisoned in Urfa and 10 detained near the Rojava border. More than 100 people were detained in Van, Mus, Agri and Bitlis, with 52 being sent to prison. DBP co-chair Kamuran Yüksek was also detained and released in Kars. 25 students were detained and 11 imprisoned in Giresun as police raided student halls. In Izmir warrants have been issued for the arrest of HDP Buca and Konak co-chairs.
It is expected that arrests will continue as the AKP government pursues its persecution of Kurds and opposition groups. The latest wave of arrests is reminiscent of the Kurdistan Communities’ Union (KCK) case in 2009-2011, when more than 8,000 Kurdish and pro-Kurdish activists were arrested and imprisoned without charge.