Angry protests in Turkey and beyond after arrest of pro-Kurdish HDP politicians

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Angry protests in Turkey and beyond after arrest of pro-Kurdish HDP politicians

<p>Protesters have taken to the streets of a number of Turkish cities in anger at the arrest of a number of pro-Kurdish <span class="caps">HDP</span> politicians.</p> <p>Detention orders were issued for at least 12 People’s Democratic Party (<span class="caps">HDP</span>) MPs as part of an ongoing counter-terrorism investigation.</p> <p><span class="caps">HDP</span> co-chair Figen Yuksekdag was arrested and detained in Ankara. </p> <p>Dramatic online footage appeared to show her home being forcefully entered and an arrest warrant being read.</p> <p>Fellow <span class="caps">HDP</span> leader, Selahattin Demirtas, was initially detained in predominantly-Kurdish Diyarbakir, then later transported across Turkey, where he remains in detention.</p> <p>Demirtas’ lawyer, Mahsuni Kahraman, read out the following statement on his behalf:<br /> “‘We are facing another phase of the coup carried out by the government and by the palace. My friends and I will continue to stand against this unlawful coup. We want the people to know that we will continue their struggle for freedom, democracy and peace.”</p> <p>‘The palace’ is a term pro-Kurdish politicians in Turkey use to refer to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. </p> <p>All the <span class="caps">HDP</span> MPs arrested deny accusations of spreading propaganda for militants fighting the Turkish state and refute allegations of links to the <span class="caps">PKK</span> Kurdistan Workers’ Party, listed a terrorist organisation.</p> <p>They were arrested for refusing to testify or answer prosecutors’ questions, officials say.</p> <p>While Turkish politicians usually have immunity from prosecution, this was removed from the <span class="caps">HDP</span> and other MPs in May, 2016.</p> <p>It is currently the third-largest party in Turkey.</p> <p><a href="http://www.euronews.com/2016/11/04/turkey-rocked-by-protests-after-high-profile-arrests">Dozens of demonstrators were arrested</a> at a number of rallies nationwide. Tear gas was used in Istanbul, while in Ankara police used water cannon to disperse the crowds.</p> <p>Condemnation came from further afield, too, including in Germany, which is home to the largest population of Turkish people outside Turkey.</p> <p>The UN and EU have also denounced the arrests, which are part of a widening crackdown on dissent under the president and ruling AK Party founder, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.</p>