di Shorsh Surme –
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has urged Turkish political parties to oppose the new wave of arrests, calling the ongoing crackdown an “election plot” as the country prepares to go to the polls.
“Operations continue in Diyarbakir against members of our party, journalists, artists and lawyers, yesterday in Ankara and today in the morning in Istanbul”, reads a statement from the pro-Kurdish party HDP, which reveals that Sahin Tumuklu, co -president of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP), was arrested as well as some parliamentary candidates of the Green Left Party.
ESP is one of the constituent parties of the HDP and operating in Turkey.
“These waves of arrests are plots against the will of Turkish voters,” the statement continued, without adding the number of people arrested.
The HDP has called on all parties, oppositions and the public to oppose what it called a conspiracy, stating that it is an issue that concerns everyone. “This is an operation to steal the will of the people and the ballot paper,” she added.
Sunday’s arrests continue a wave of arrests that began on Tuesday in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir (Amed), when Turkish police arrested more than 120 people, including senior HDP officials, on charges of alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
On Wednesday, Turkish police arrested a parliamentary candidate from the pro-Kurdish Green Left party, again for alleged links to the PKK.
In response to the arrests, the pro-Kurdish Green Left party issued a statement condemning it, stressing that it will not be deterred by police operations.
On Friday, the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in a statement released together with 26 other human rights and civil society organizations called on the Turkish authorities to end the “systematic harassment and intimidation” against Kurdish journalists, media workers, media outlets, lawyers representing them and officials of Kurdish political parties.
The Green Left Party is an umbrella under which the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will participate in the May 2023 elections. The HDP formed the party as a precautionary measure, as it is facing a process for its closure .
The HDP has been accused for years of having ties to the PKK, an armed group fighting for the rights of Kurds in Turkey, and classified by Ankara as a terrorist organization. The HDP denies any links, but says it respects the leader of the imprisoned group Abdullah Ocalan and has mediated between the Turkish government and the PKK in the past.