Turkey: Mass arrest of opposition MPs

November 4, 2016
Arrest warrants have been issued for the entire HDP parliamentary caucus.

BREAKING NEWS November 5 — The regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took a further leap towards undisguised dictatorship with the issue of arrest warrants for all 59 Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MPs by the Diyarbakir Chief Prosecutor's Office, Kurdish Question reported.

Thirteen HDP deputies including party leaders Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ have already been detained.

The detained MPs are Sirri Sureyya Onder, Mehmet Ali Aslan, Ziya Pir, Ferhat Encü, Leyla Birlik, Selma Irmak, Nursel Aydoğan, Gulser Yildirim, Idris Baluken, Garo Paylan, Abdullah Zeydan.

Police have raided the homes of MPs and the HDP Headquarters in Ankara.

Libertarian Lawyers' Association (ÖHD) Co-President Alişan Şahin was seriously injured during the raid on the HDP headquarters.

Firat News Agency reported that social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, have been blocked in Turkey since soon after the detention of the HDP deputies.

The HDP received more than 5 million votes in the November 1, 2015 general election. The success of the pro-Kurdish left wing party thwarted Erdoğan’s plans to institute an authoritarian executive presidency through constitution means.

Since then, he has restarted the war in Kurdistan and increasingly relied on continual states of emergency to consolidate power. This process has accelerated since a failed coup on July 15.

HDP MP Mithat Sancar has called the arrests a coup. Speaking on Sterk TV Sancar he said they would not "bow down to the government's fascism," and added, "the people must come out onto the streets to defend their political will and their rights."

The umbrella organisation of Kurdish youth, Ciwanên Azad Coordination, released a written statement condemning the crackdown.

“The [ruling party] AKP fascism is deepening its enmity towards Kurds every passing day, and spreading its fascist terror to all the spheres of social life,” the statement said. “Following the invasion of municipalities through an appointment of trustees, and the restriction of free press, HDP deputies are being detained now as a result of raids on their homes. These arrests constitute the last circle of AKP fascism's enmity towards Kurds, and the top of its political genocide.

“Everywhere must turn into an area of protest as it is now time to throw the AKP and Erdoğan team in the dustbin of history.”

The house raids and detainments have been reported as 'operations on terror' by Turkish media.

[Source: Kurdish Question and Firat News Agency.]

Video of Figen Yüksekdağ’s arrest (from Firat News Agency) [This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been closed https://www.youtube.com/embed/o0FvNJHrcEk]

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