In a move by the Turkish authorities, dozens of individuals were detained on Tuesday morning over fresh accusations of participation in incidents going back seven and a half years.
The detentions constitute the beginning of a new wave in the targeting of Kurdish political activists, and involve alleged charges concerning the ‘Kobane demonstrations’ of 2014.
Former co-mayors of various cities and districts, previously discharged by the Turkish interior ministry to be replaced by state-appointed trustees, were among the detained, reported Mezopotamya News Agency.
The new wave of detentions was launched as the office of the chief prosecutor in Ankara ordered the detention of 91 individuals in the context of the ‘Kobane investigation.’
The investigation and the ongoing Kobane court case involves the 2014 demonstrations that had begun in solidarity with Syria’s Kurdish-majority city of Kobane, which had been under the siege of the Islamic State (ISIS) at the time.
After the largest demonstrations had been staged on 6 October, and following a live address by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who calmly made a remark about ‘Kobane falling soon’, the next day violent incidents ensued, during which dozens were killed, most of them supporters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
The ‘Kobane Case’ later turned into a convenient tool for prosecuting and jailing Kurdish political figures including the 2016 arrest of Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, the party co-chairs at the time.
The office of the chief prosecutor, in a recent statement, mentioned about allegations of a financial organisation for the Kobane demonstrations’ and ‘providing financial assistance to the families of those who were killed or injured in the incidents.’
108 individuals are already standing trial in the Kobane Case, including former HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.
The arrests come after raids against the HDP in Cizre where police vandalised the offices and ahead of next years parliamentary elections in June that come on the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish republic.