Reaction grows as two more mayors arrested in Turkey
VAN - Doğan News Agency
In a country where almost all elected Kurdish politicians are arrested, there is no development in the Kurdish issue, BDP Group Chair Hasip Kaplan tells press. AA photo
A new wave of arrests targeting Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) mayors in the eastern province of Van has prompted reactions from both the BDP and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials.
Seven more people, including district mayors in Van, were arrested in the ongoing Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) probe on the night of June 10.
Abdülkerim Sayan, mayor of Edremit district, and Murat Durmaz, the mayor of Özalp district, were among seven people arrested on accusations of being members of a terrorist organization.
While BDP officials accused the AKP of casting a shadow on democracy in Turkey, their counterparts from the AKP in Van said they were also uncomfortable with the arrests.
Holding a press meeting in the Parliament yesterday, BDP Group Chair Hasip Kaplan said the arrests were planned in the AKP’s headquarters.
The arrests shame the government and Parliament, he said, adding that they carried reminders of the 1990s when many Kurdish politicians were arrested.
“In a country where almost all elected Kurdish politicians are arrested, there is no development in the Kurdish issue,” he said. “Everything is forbidden in this country but being a member of the AKP. The AKP has declared all opposition an enemy. The prime minister is not halting his words on violence, vengeance, hatred and racism.”
AKP also reacts
Meanwhile, the AKP’s Van office said they were sad to hear of the arrests.
“Despite the fact that we have already expressed our discomfort with the arrests, the BDP’s accusation of the AKP is an offence toward us,” the office said in a written announcement.
AKP Van deputy Gülşen Orhan had already expressed her discomfort after a specially authorized Van court ordered the detention of 14 people for their alleged links with the KCK on June 7.
Van Mayor Bekir Kaya, along with the BDP’s Van provincial head, Cüneyt Caniş, and the former mayor of the province’s Başkale district, İhsan Güler, were arrested June 10on charges of being a member of a terrorist organization.
BDP officials in the northwestern province of Bursa and the southeastern province of Hakkari were also detained in a KCK raid yesterday morning.
Sixteen people were detained by Hakkari police yesterday in the early morning. Police raided houses of BDP members and detained 28 people, including the BDP’s deputy provincial head, Sait Gezer. Thirteen people were also detained in Bursa.
The Human Rights Association’s (İHD) Hakkari branch head, Sait Çağlayan, and a reporter from Dicle News Agency (DİHA) were among the detainees.
The BDP said the detainees had been charged with being members of the KCK via the articles they had “liked” on Facebook.
The KCK is the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
3 PKK members killed in clash
HAKKARİ - Doğan News Agency
Turkish troops have killed three alleged members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in a clash in the country’s southeast.
The clash occurred near the eastern province of Hakkari’s Çukurca district early yesterday.
Çukurca is located in the country’s southeastern tip where Iraq, Iran and Turkey meet.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Meanwhile, security officials discovered 100 kilograms of handmade bombs on the Diyarbakır-Bingöl highway.
The explosives were subsequently defused.