Turkish police detain pro-Kurdish party members ahead of local elections

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Turkish police detained 23 members of pro-Kurdish Democratic Peoples Party (HDP) and the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) in Izmir, Ankara and some eastern provinces, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency reported on Friday.

In Cizre district of the southeastern province of Şırnak, police raided the homes of DBP and HDP members and arrested nine including the local administrators of two legal parties.

In another raid, police detained six HDP politicians and party members in Ankara. Similarly, police raided the HDP election campaign office in the western province of Izmir and arrested two members of the party.

In the eastern city of Bitlis, police on Thursday detained six HDP election campaigners who were trying to replace the ripped posters of the party with the fresh ones, the pro-Kurdish agency said.

The Turkish government portrays the HDP and the DBP as the political wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an armed group that has been fighting inside Turkey for over three decades.

Turkey’s dominantly Kurdish southeastern and eastern provinces have critical importance for the government in local elections on March 31. The government previously replaced more than 80 of the 103 elected mayors of the HDP with appointed ones in the predominantly Kurdish southeast.

HDP is also expected to play a pivotal role in the polls in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, which are home to a significant Kurdish population.

Source: Ahval News

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