Turkey: 6000 HDP members detained, 2000 arrested since July

Issue 
Police arrest HDP supporters. Ankara, November 4.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Kars deputy and party spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen said 441 HDP members have been detained since the arrest and imprisonment of 10 HDP MPs on November 4.

Speaking to the press in Ankara on November 10, Bilgen said there had been a systematic crackdown on HDP members and those protesting the imprisonment of the left-wing pro-autonomy HDP's MPs, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.

Bilgen said, “441 HDP members have been detained in the past 6 days and more than 6000 members have been detained since the coup attempt on 15 July. Two thousand of these people have been imprisoned.”

The spokesperson also said posters of the party's co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş had been banned in Mersin while across the country banners reading, “Hands off my MP, hands off my political will” were also banned and confiscated.

“Even though the judicial process regarding our MPs and co-chairs is continuing and they have not been charged with anything, these illegal practices are being implemented,” Bilgen said.

He called the arrest and imprisonment of HDP members a “post-modern way of closing down a political party.”

The HDP decided on November 9 to boycott parliament and “return to the public domain” to discuss the party's future strategy.

All the HDP's predecessor parties have been shut down by the Turkish Constitutional Court on grounds of promoting separatism and terror.

The Turkish government has been accused of using the failed coup attempt on July 15 to suppress political opposition within the country.

In Istanbul, 15 construction workers who made a press statement and marched to condemn the arrest of HDP MPs on November 8 were also referred to court for arrest on November 10.

[Reprinted from Kurdish Question. Source: Gazete Duvar.]

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