Detention operations against the DTK spark protests across Turkey

Protests took place in several cities across Turkey after the detention of numerous citizens associated with the Democratic Society Congress (DTK).

Warrants were issued to detain 101 people on 20 November as part of an investigation into the DTK. Police raided addresses in Diyarbakır (Amed), Şırnak (Şirnex) and Adıyaman (Semsur) in Turkey. Seventy-two people have been detained since then and 113 addresses have been raided. Twenty-four of those detained have been lawyers. Twenty-one were released late in the evening on 20 November. As the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) criticised the detentions, protests took place in several cities in Turkey.

HDP’s statement

The HDP made a statement regarding the operation against the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), arguing that it was an example of intolerance against lawyers, as well as the values of democracy, freedom, equality, peace and fraternal values. It also pointed out that thousands of HDP and DTK members and executives were detained and arrested under the tyrannical rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP)-Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) since 2015. The HDP defined the operation as a suppression policy against the HDP and democratic associations and demanded that all detainess be released.

Protests in İstanbul

On 21 November the HDP İstanbul province organisation made a press statement in Taksim. Police attacked protesters and detained 22 people, including province co-chairs Erdal Avcı and Elif Bulut. After their testimonies, 21 were released. Cahit Duman is expected to be sent to court.

Diyarbakır Bar Association: a revenge operation

The Diyarbakır Bar Association made a press statement in front of the city’s courthouse. Members of the Lawyers for Freedom Association (ÖHD) attended the event. The statement declared that the operation was motivated by revenge and added that they would not bend under the oppressive tactics.

The Mesopotamia Writers’ Association stated some of their members were detained, including the Kurdish editor of JinNews, Roza Metina, and the poets Mehmet Sait Arzu and Panayır Çelik, and demanded their release.

The Mardin Bar Association also reacted against the detentions and called them unacceptable.

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Detention operations against the DTK spark protests across Turkey

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