A number of addresses in Turkey’s Ankara and surrounding areas have been raided by police citing an investigation into participants of Newroz celebrations on 21 March, the Kurdish new year. Nineteen individuals were detained in the house raids including members of the country’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
The arrestees were accused on 22 May of “spreading illegal organisational propaganda” during the Kurdish celebrations two months prior, and taken to the Ankara Security Directorate for detention, reported Mezopotamya Agency.
In the run-up to Turkey’s critical 14 May presidential and parliamentary elections, the government launched a large number of operations that targeted pro-Kurdish circles. Hundreds of lawyers, journalists, politicians and human rights defenders were arrested across several cities.