Updated February 16, 2021 at 2:22 pm
- Turkish police arrested more than 700 people across the country on Monday over alleged contacts with outlawed Kurdish activists.
- Those arrested were reportedly among the leaders of the pro-Kurdish opposition party and the second largest opposition party, HDP.
- One day before the arrest, the Turkish army discovered the bodies of 13 kidnapped Turks in a cave in northern Iraq.
Nationwide, security forces bombed Monday. They arrested 718 people during a large-scale operation in 40 cities in Turkey. The Interior Ministry in Ankara said that the police had confiscated weapons, documents and numerous files.
The Interior Ministry said that the detainees are accused of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Ankara On monday with. Among those arrested are regional leaders and managers belonging to the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the second largest opposition party.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan considers the legal party to be the extended arm of the PKK. The HDP obviously rejects this again and again. A spokeswoman for the party confirmed to the German news agency DPA that 139 people had been arrested. They include at least one regional president and twelve senior party officials. The number of detained HDP members was unclear at first.
In response to the killing of 13 Turkish abductees in northern Iraq
What is clearer, however, is that Erdogan The government responded by arresting the killing of 13 kidnapped Turks in northern Iraq. In Dohuk Governorate, northern Iraq Turkey Widespread last Wednesday Military action Against the Kurdistan workers’ party seem. On Monday, Erdogan said that the detained Turks should also be released.
According to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, the Turkish army found the bodies of 13 citizens in a cave in the Gara region in northern Iraq. Among the dead were soldiers and police officers who were kidnapped by the PKK in 2015 and 2016.
Akar, citing the testimony of two Kurdish fighters captured there, said that 13 people who were killed were executed by a bullet. The PKK rejects this and says they were killed in air strikes by the Turkish army and fighting.
The Turkish government is targeting HDP
Miral Danis Bestas, a member of parliament for the HDP in the Turkish Parliament, condemned the Turkish government’s actions against their party. She wrote on Twitter about each incident as a concept of the attack on the HDP in an attempt to cover up the facts.
The Turkish leadership has repeatedly targeted the HDP in recent weeks. Erdogan’s communications director, Fakhruddin Altun, wrote on Sunday about the killing of the Turks Twitter: “The HDP is a political puppet operating under the orders of the PKK. We saw this fact again today.”
Government members have also used harsh words against the party in connection with student protests against the university president appointed by Erdogan. The HDP had previously sided with the protesters.
Erdogan accuses America of supporting “terrorists”
The issue of the 13 dead also caused international disputes. On Monday, Erdogan accused the United States of supporting “terrorists”. Ankara also summoned the US ambassador and protested the extremely weak reaction of the Turkish authorities United States of America On the accident.
The US Department of Defense said at first that it regrets the “killing of Turkish citizens,” but is awaiting confirmation of recent events. Erdogan called this announcement a “farce.” The Turkish head of state said, “You say you do not support the terrorists, but in reality you are standing by or behind them.”
After the initial reluctance, clear words came from Washington about the incident. In a telephone conversation with his Turkish colleague, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken expressed his condolences and confirmed that according to the US government, “PKK terrorists” are responsible for the hostages’ deaths, according to ministry spokesman Ned Price. Blinken emphasized the importance of relations between the two countries and the common interest in fighting terrorism.
State Department: Terrorism cannot be justified by anything
The United States and its Western allies have declared the PKK a terrorist organization, but Washington supports the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS). For Ankara, the YPG is affiliated with the PKK.
A spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry said about the incident that “terrorism” cannot be “justified.” “In armed conflicts, it is especially important to respect international humanitarian law.” (dpa / afp / mf)
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