HDP calls mass raid against Kurdish activists ‘ballot-box coup attempt’

HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar has called the mass raid against Kurdish activists, journalists and lawyers “a ballot-box coup attempt” by the ruling AKP-MHP alliance. Meanwhile, former Diyarbakır Bar Association’s head Mehmet Emin Aktar said that the detention warrant documents had the “accusation” part missing.

Duvar English

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Mithat Sancar has slammed the detentions of scores of Kurdish journalists, politicians, lawyers and activists, by saying the operation had the aim of dividing the opposition.

Deeming the mass operation as the ruling alliance’s “ballot-box coup attempt,” he said: “Our 100 friends can be detained, but hundreds of our friends will continue (to struggle for democracy).”

Sancar made the comments as he answered the questions of journalists on Artı TV on April 25. “The alliance of (Justice and Development Party) AKP – (Nationalist Movement Party) MHP is doing these operations to create separation within the opposition,” he said.

Earlier on April 25, more than 150 Kurdish journalists, politicians, lawyers and activists were detained, with accusations of “links to terrorism.” The operations were centered in the Kurdish-majority Diyarbakır but took place in a total of 21 provinces.

Sancar said that he did not think that Nation Alliance’s presidential candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu would stay silent to these detentions. “I expect that he will put forward a strong reaction and make a statement that makes an evaluation of this situation.”

“We will pave the way for change by getting rid of this rulership. But, the path for change would be opened if we enter the elections and parliament in a very strong way….If we can’t enter the parliament in a very strong way, even if the opposition wins the presidential elections, an important change can’t be expected.”

Meanwhile, former Diyarbakır Bar Association’s head Mehmet Emin Aktar, who witnessed the detentions, said that the search and detention warrant document had the “accusation” part missing. “The law is very clear. If you are accusing someone, you need to write the accusation and demand defense,” he said. 

Deeming the investigation “meaningless, without allegations and arbitrary,” he criticized the opposition for staying silent.