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Arrests leave a 'dark stain' on Turkey's history - HDP

Arrests leave a 'dark stain' on Turkey's history - HDP
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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Turkey's main pro-Kurdish political party has pledged to show a "democratic reaction" after its two co-leaders and at least 11 lawmakers were detained in raids overnight.

  • At least 11 arrested
  • Houses and office raided
  • EU ‘extremely worried’ by news

Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish political party says the arrest of its two co-leaders and at least 11 lawmakers leave a “dark stain” on the country’s history.

The People’s Democratic Party or HDP is promising to show a “democratic reaction”.

They have been detained over what has been described as “their reluctance to give testimony for crimes linked to ‘terrorist propaganda”.

Turkish police raided the house of co-leader Selahattin Demirtas and the house of co-leader Figen Yuksekdag in Diyarbakir.

The city is the largest in Turkey’s southeast.

Were there any other raids?


Police also raided and searched the party’s head office in central Ankara.

Television footage showed party officials quarreling with police during the raid.

A Reuters witness said the entrance to the street where the HDP headquarters are situated had been closed off by police cars and armed vehicles.

How many people were arrested?

At least 13 other HDP parliamentarians were detained, according to lawyers.

The Turkish Interior Ministry said detention orders for 13 MPs were issued but only 11 were detained as two were abroad.


With 59 seats, the HDP is the third-largest party in the 550-seat Turkish parliament.

Parliamentarians in Turkey normally have immunity from prosecution.

However, the pro-Kurdish HDP’s immunity was lifted earlier this year.

Turkey accuses the HDP of links to the Kurdish militant group the PKK.

The group is considered a terrorist organisation by the US, EU and Turkey.

What they are saying

“HDP call international community to react against Erdogan regime’s coup,” – the HDP said on Twitter, referring to the Turkish president.

Extremely worried for arrest of hdpdemirtas</a> & other <a href="">HDPgenelmerkezi MPs. In contact w/ authorities Called EU ambassadors meeting in Ankara

— Federica Mogherini (@FedericaMog) November 4, 2016

The EU says it is “extremely worried” by news of the arrests.

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