This arrest this morning (Monday) of 20 people including prominent members of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Istanbul and Kırklareli has been shrouded in secrecy due to a non-disclosure order.
Executives of the People’s Democratic Congress (HDK) and representatives of civil society organisations were also targets of the dawn raids. A gagging order has been imposed on the investigation, while the detainees have no access to legal counsel for 24 hours.
The authorities have indicated that the number of detainees could increase as the investigation progresses. The decision to place the ongoing investigation under a confidentiality order is a matter of concern in terms of transparency and accountability.
Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya made an official announcement on social media, revealing that 26 different addresses had been targeted in the operation.
The reasons for the arrests remain unclear, as the detainees were swiftly taken to police stations after being arrested in simultaneous police raids. However, Yerlikaya’s statement accused the detained politicians and civil society representatives of aiding and abetting an illegal organisation.
The minister further said that “individuals who were involved in collecting aid for members of the terrorist organisation who are currently imprisoned or convicted for their activities” were also arrested in the operation.