2014 protests: Turkey arrested 82 people, including Kurdish opposition members

Turkey ordered on Friday the detention of 82 people including members of a pro-Kurdish opposition party about violent protests in 2014 against an assault on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane.

Indeed, protesters took to the streets in Turkey’s principally Kurdish southeast October, and they accused the Turkish army of standing in plain view just across the Syrian border when the ISIS-besieged Kobane, 37 people were killed in this protests. Moreover, Turkish authorities accuse the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has battled for more autonomy for the southeast since 1984, of encouraging the demonstrations.

They also accuse the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of its relations with the PKK and supporting the protests. While The HDP, the third-largest party, denies any links to terrorism. It should be noted that Former HDP heads Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag have been in the prison since 2016 on accusations related to the Kobani protests.

The Ankara prosecutor’s Terror Crimes Investigation Bureau, reported in a statement on Friday, that the arrest orders had been issued after several calls made to invite the public to the streets and carry out terror acts.

The mayor of the northeasterly Kars province, Ayhan Bilgen, and former lawmaker Sirri Sureyya Onder, are both prominent HDP figures, were arrested on Friday, as well as some party executives.

The party’s current co-leader, Mithat Sancar, declared that the AK Party of President Tayyip Erdogan wants to intimidate the opposition and spread fear among the public by silencing the HDP. He said that the HDP’s own requests that the Kobani protests be investigated had been dismissed.

Ankara, and since local elections in 2019 has dismissed dozens of mayors belonging to the HDP, by the accusation of ties to terrorism, and it appointed agents in their place. Two HDP lawmakers have been excluded from parliament since elections in 2018 after being convicted on terrorism charges, Also eleven others were excluded in the previous time.

The state-owned Anadolu news agency declared that the Ankara prosecutor’s office is now preparing proceedings against seven more HDP lawmakers that could lead to their immunity being lifted to allow them to be charged. Otherwise, the PKK is named as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

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