Seçkin Sağlam / Gazete Duvar
Turkish police on May 23 launched an operation against the pro-Kurdish leftist umbrella organization Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK) and detained many people in the western Tekirdağ and Çanakkale provinces.
Nearly 40 people, including five in Çanakkale, were detained in the Tekirdağ-based operation. In Çanakkale, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair, the HDP provincial executives, the former Democratic Regions Party (DBP) provincial co-chair, and the Labor Party (EMEP) district executive were detained. In Tekirdağ, former co-chairs and current executives were among those detained. The HDP, DBP, and EMEP are members of the HDK.
During the police search in the houses of the detained, the police seized the former HDP deputy Gülten Kışanak’s book titled “The Purple Color of Kurdish Politics” along with some other magazines and books. The HDK stated that there is a confidentiality order on the file regarding the detentions and the detention period may be prolonged.
The Green Left Party's MP candidate from Çanakkale Adile Yalçın stated that they will continue to fight for peace and fraternity, not chaos and conflict. Yalçın evaluated the detentions as a result of the oppression policies against the HDP and said, "We do not see these detentions as independent from governing coalition between Justice and Development Party (AKP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and Free Cause Party (HÜDA-PAR) and far-right leader Sinan Oğan who endorsed them recently.” She added that the nationalist front in the government playing dirty politics over the HDP in order to consolidate its own votes in the run-up to the presidential runoff on May 28.
The HDP’s Party Assembly Member Ahmet Saymadi stated that the operations were not restricted to Tekirdağ province but also there are detention list regarding to HDK members from Mardin, Ankara, Antalya, Adana, and İzmir provinces.
Prior to the first round of elections in the country, 128 Kurdish journalists, politicians, lawyers, and activists on April 25 were detained, with accusations of having “links to terrorism.” The operations were centered in Diyarbakır but took place in a total of 21 provinces.