Turkey Detains Over 100 HDP Officials

Turkey Detains Over 100 HDP OfficialsTurkey Detains Over 100 HDP Officials

Turkish police have detained 118 people in raids across Turkey targeting officials from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) over allegations of links to Kurdish PKK militants.

The operations were launched after an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Sunday claimed responsibility for twin bombings that killed 38 people and wounded 155 outside an Istanbul soccer stadium, France24 reported.

Hours after that claim, Turkish warplanes carried out airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq, destroying a headquarters of the militants and surrounding gun positions and shelters, an army statement said.

Turkish warplanes hit 10 Kurdish militant targets in Turkey’s southeast and east overnight, the state-run Anadolu Agency said on Sunday, citing security sources.

According to Al Arabiya, the airstrikes capped one of the most violent single days of fighting in the largely Kurdish southeast in recent years.

The military has said that more than 100 militants from the outlawed PKK were either killed or injured in clashes on Saturday.

Turkey’s southeast has been rocked by waves of violence following the collapse last year of a two-and-a-half-year ceasefire between the state and the autonomy-seeking PKK.

Fighter jets pounded four PKK targets in the Cukurca District of the southeastern Hakkari Province on Saturday evening, Anadolu said, citing the security sources.

Six more positions were bombed in the region between the eastern Agri and Van provinces shortly after midnight, it said.

Around dawn, about 500 police, backed by armored vehicles and a helicopter, launched an operation in the southern city of Adana and detained 25 HDP officials, Anadolu said.

Counter-terror police teams in Istanbul separately took into custody 20 HDP officials, including its provincial head, and carried out searches at various addresses, including the party’s main offices in the city, the agency said.

The top HDP official in Ankara was among 17 people from the party held in raids in the capital, it said, adding 51 people were detained in the southern city of Mersin and five in the northwestern province of Manisa.

The leaders of the HDP, the second-largest opposition grouping in parliament, have already been jailed pending trial over alleged ties to the PKK, and Ankara regularly accuses the HDP of being an extension of the militant group.

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