Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Turkey arrested the Pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-Chair Keskin Bayındır on Tuesday, reported Mezopotamya News Agency.
Bayındır and 14 other party members were detained last week by police in raids on party buildings and houses primarily in Turkey’s southeast province of Diyarbakır (Amed) and capital Ankara.
A criminal court in Diyarbakır ruled for the arrest of Bayındır for “being a member of a terrorist organisation”, along with Hayrettin Altun, the co-chair of DBP’s Diyarbakır provincial organisation. Other detainees, all of them the co-chairs of the party’s provincial organisations in southeast Turkey, have been released on probation.
Following the arrests, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and DBP lawmakers protested the court’s decision.
Metal Danış Beştaş, the co-chair of the HDP’s parliamentary group, said that the court’s ruling showed how the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had been using the judiciary for their own political purposes.
“No party can be raided by the decision of a provincial prosecutor’s office,” said Danış Beştaş. “They are using the judiciary as a weapon,” she added.
The politician criticised the media for avoiding the news of DBP co-chair’s arrest, underlining that they would not have acted the same if the person arrested was the chair of other major political parties.
Danış Beştaş also paid attention to trustees appointed to the Kurdish-populated cities and the detentions against Kurdish politicians that have been lasting for 6 years.
“They asked DBP such questions: ‘Why did you attend to this press statement?”, ‘Why did you give an interview’. What will a co-chair do other than attending press statements. We are the opposition, we are the opposition that will remove you from your seats,” the politician continued.
Saliha Aydeniz, the DBP co-chair, also said the judgment showed how the government used the judiciary and the law enforcement.
“They themselves know how absurd the ruling is. The more they lose, the more hostile they treat Kurds,” Aydeniz said.
The DBP, which is one of several political parties and organisations forming the HDP, mainly operates in Turkey’s Kurdish-populated provinces in the southeast.