Politics, Turkey

HDP says 6,000 party officials arrested since 2015

A total of 15,530 members of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have been detained and 6,000 of them arrested since 2015, according to a report drafted by the HDP, the Bianet news website reported.

The HDP publicized the report on rights violations in 2019 on the occasion of Human Rights Day, marked every Dec.10.

The report showed that the number of HDP members or officials detained to date 2019 is 674, of whom 200 have been arrested.

The HDP has been one of the main targets of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) particularly after a coup attempt in July 2016, following which the government launched a massive crackdown on its opponents under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

The report also showed that 20 co-mayors elected from the HDP in the March 31 local elections have been arrested, while 28 co-mayors have been removed from office on terrorism allegations.

The controversial practice of removing and arresting mayors was also widely implemented during Turkey’s two-year-long state of emergency following the attempted coup in 2016.

Ankara accuses the HDP of links to militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s Southeast since 1984.

Seven former HDP deputies are also in jail, according to the report: former party-chairpersons Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş, and deputies Çağlar Demirel, İdris Baluken, Gülser Yıldırım, Selma Irmak and Abdullah Zeydan.