Turkish police arrested at least 30 people in the Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Diyarbakır (Amed) on Sunday following a convention of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party.
Immediately after the 1st Ordinary Congress of the Youth Assembly of the DEM party, clashes broke out between the police and the attending youth, resulting in the forcible detention of dozens of people. Reports and footage suggest that the arrested youth were subjected to violence during the police intervention.
The Youth Assembly of the DEM party organised the congress with the aim of promoting dialogue. During the event, the participants called for the freedom of the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, and for a democratic solution to the Kurdish question in the country. Tuncer Bakırhan, co-leader of the DEM party, and several deputies as well as representatives of civil society organisations in the city attended the congress.
Eyewitnesses reported a heavy police presence and the use of force to disperse the gathering. The detained youth are expected to face legal proceedings.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Justice, Yılmaz Tunç, announced that an investigation had been launched against the convention on charges of “glorifying crime and criminality” and “propaganda of an illegal organisation”.