Turkey arrests pro-Kurdish party leaders amid claims of internet shutdown
TURKEY - The two joint leaders of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP) have been detained along with at least 10 MPs because of their reluctance to give testimony for crimes linked to “terrorist propaganda”.
Police raided the Ankara home of co-leader Selahattin Demirtaș and the house of co-leader Figen Yüksekdağ in Diyarbakır, the largest city in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast, yesterday . Demirtaş – a charismatic leader known as the “Kurdish Obama” by some admirers – and Yüksekdağ had been targeted by several separate investigations over the past few months but this is the first time that either has been detained. At least 10 other HDP parliamentarians were also held, lawyers said, in a major escalation of the government’s crackdown on its opponents in the wake of the failed coup on 15 July. Raids also took place in the south-eastern cities of Van and Bingöl. The raids took place against a backdrop of rising criticism over the government’s purge, which earlier this week also saw the issuing of arrest warrants against editors and staff of Cumhuriyet, the main opposition newspaper in the country, and a fresh round of dismissals in the gendarmerie.
HDP’s politicians of harbouring sympathies for, and acting to further the interests of the Kurdistan Workers, party (PKK), a separatist group engaged in an insurgency against the government. Peace talks collapsed last year amid accusations that the PKK was rearming and as the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) drifted towards allying with the nationalist bloc in parliament.
Larsa and Scottie Pippen. Scottie filed for divorce from his wife of almost 20 years. (Photo: dailymail.co.uk)