Turkey pro-Kurdish leaders Demirtas and Yuksekdag detained



The two co-leaders of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition party have been detained along with other MPs.

Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag were detained at their respective homes as part of a counter-terrorism inquiry, security sources quoted by Anadolu news agency said.

At least nine other MPs from the People’s Democracy Party (HDP) were also taken into custody.

Meanwhile social networks could not be accessed from inside Turkey.

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp were reported to be inaccessible shortly after the detentions, even when users tried to circumvent restrictions using a virtual private network (VPN).

Mr Demirtas had tweeted about his arrest before the sites were restricted.

Police searched the HDP’s head offices in central Ankara as well as making the arrests.

“Very bad news from Turkey. Again. Now HDP members of parliament are being detained,” European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur, Kati Piri, said on Twitter.

HDP is the third largest party in the 550-seat Turkish parliament, with 59 seats. Parliamentarians in Turkey normally enjoy immunity from prosecution, but the pro-Kurdish party’s immunity was lifted earlier this year.

Turkey accuses the HDP of links to the Kurdish militant group PKK, which is deemed a terrorist organisation by the United States, the European Union and Turkey.

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Turkey MPs held in probe for failing to answer summons

HDP lawmakers detained after failing to appear for testimony in terror investigation

Several Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers were detained early Friday for failing to appear for a summons to testify as part of a counter-terrorism investigation, Turkish security sources said.

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Those detained include HDP co-chairs Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, as well as the party’s parliamentary group leader Idris Baluken.

The police operations against the MPs come after prosecutors in Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Van, Sirnak and Bingol provinces — located in the southeastern and eastern regions — gave the go-ahead following the parliamentarians’ refusal to cooperate with the investigation.

The two HDP leaders vowed in June not to testify.

The MPs face prosecution under anti-terrorism laws after their parliamentary immunity was lifted earlier this year, along with other lawmakers from Turkey’s main political parties.

Unlike MPs from other parties who also faced investigations after their immunity was lifted, HDP lawmakers refused to appear for testimony.

They are accused of spreading terrorist propaganda, among other charges, in relation to investigations on Oct. 6-8 incidents and the PKK/KCK terror groups.


Other HDP members detained Friday along with Yuksekdag, Demirtas and Baluken were Ferhat Encu, Leyla Birlik, Selma Irmak, Abdullah Zeydan, Sirri Sureyya Onder, Ziya Pir, Gulser Yildirim and Nursel Aydogan.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that two more MPs were being sought and two others were abroad.

Anadolu news agency reported.


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