In a series of dawn raids, Turkish police have arrested scores of members of a recently banned pro-Kurdish political party suspected of having links with an outlawed militant group.
Those detained, including several mayors, are members of the Democratic Society Party, the DTP or activists linked to the organisation.
The prosecutor who ordered the raids says 43 people were detained while Kurdish sources put the total number of arrests at between 60 and 80.
Turkey’s Constitutional Court banned the DTP earlier this month because of its links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, a separatist, militant movement, considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
After the detentions about 1,000 people gathered outside the offices of the newly formed pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, the BDP.
Kurdish members of parliament have switched to the BDP to avoid the blanket ban on their former DTP party.
The BDP is the seventh Kurdish political party to be formed in Turkey. Its six predecessors have all been shut down.