Turkish police on May 28 raided the office of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the southeastern province of Batman and detained the party's provincial co-chairs Ömer Kulpu and Fatma Ablay.EP rapporteur says 'credibility of democracy at stake' in Turkey as crackdown on HDP continues
The raid lasted about two hours with the police forces blockading the area. When asked the reason of the raid, the police said banners of the jailed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan could be seen from outside the building, Mezopotamya news agency reported.
As the HDP members and party executives came to watch the raid in front of the building, the police told them to abide by the “social distancing” rules.
All electronic documents were seized at the building.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government accuse the HDP of having links to the outlawed PKK, leading to prosecutions of thousands of its members and some leaders. The HDP denies such links.
The former co-leaders of the HDP have both been jailed since 2016 on terrorism charges, with several other prominent members accused of supporting terrorism.
It has been also a common practice of the government to replace the HDP's elected mayors with trustees. Out of the 65 municipalities that the HDP won in the local elections of March 2019, some 45 posts have been now filled with appointed trustee officials.EU's top diplomat criticizes Ankara for undermining local democracy after dismissal of more HDP mayors