Turkish authorities on Nov. 20 issued detention warrants for 101 people including lawyers and doctors as part of what they called terrorism-related investigations, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Authorities launched the operation from the southeastern province of Diyarbakır and extended their raids to four provinces and a total of 106 residential addresses, the agency said.
Diyarbakır Bar Association said that at least 17 of its members were detained in house raids, calling for their release. The association said that the lawyers were detained for their affiliation with the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), a pro-Kurdish non-governmental organization.
"It should be known that the Diyarbakır Bar Association has never bowed and will never do so in the face of detentions and arrest threats," the bar association said in a tweet.
Pressure, threats and detentions have been aimed at the Diyarbakır Bar Association's institutional organization, members and civil initiatives for a long time, the bar association said.
"The raids that were undertaken today have once again shown that the Diyarbakır Bar Association's voice wants to be silenced and there is a direct intervention against works of NGOs," the bar association's statement read.
Bilinmelidir ki; gözaltı ve tutuklama tehditleri ile Diyarbakır Barosu hiçbir zaman boyun eğmedi ve eğmeyecektir! pic.twitter.com/Ra3PTfwgZi— Diyarbakır Barosu (@Diyarbakirbaro) November 20, 2020
Earlier, Diyarbakır Bar Association head Cihan Aydın tweeted that at least 15 lawyers of the association were detained in house raids around 5 a.m.
"Our colleagues were detained for allegations that their names were found on DTK documents," the bar head said.
Bu sabah saat 5 sıralarında en az 15 meslektaşımız evleri aranarak gözaltına alındı. Meslektaşlarımız DTK’daki bazı belgelerde ismi geçtiği iddiasıyla gözaltına alınmıştır. Detaylı açıklama daha sonra yapılacaktır.— Cihan Aydın (@CihnAydin) November 20, 2020
Kurdish journalist Roza Metina was among the detained on Nov. 20.
The detentions come mere days after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan kicked off a rhetoric of democratic reforms in the country, and mere hours after former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç slammed the continued imprisonments of Selahattin Demirtaş and Osman Kavala.