Skip to main content

Turkey expands crackdown on pro-Kurdish activists with dozens of raids

The prospect for promises of sweeping reform looked bleak in the wake of more than 70 arrests that targeted politicians, doctors, lawyers, journalists and civil society activists.
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / A protester is detained by police during a demonstration against the replacement of Kurdish mayors with state officials in three cities, on August 20, 2019, in Istanbul. - The Turkish government removed three mayors from office on August 19 over alleged links to Kurdish militants as Ankara deepened its crackdown on the opposition. The mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van provinces in eastern Turkey -- all members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) elected in M

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pledges for sweeping reforms looked shakier Friday, as at least 70 people accused of links to a Kurdish militant group were arrested in raids across the country. They included politicians, doctors, lawyers, journalists and civil society activists who were picked up in dawn raids in connection with an ongoing investigation launched against the Democratic Society Congress (DTK). The group advocates greater rights for Turkey’s long suppressed Kurds.

Warrants were issued by the Diyarbakir prosecutor’s office for 101 suspects whose names were seen in documents seized from DTK offices, “that’s the sum of the evidence against them,” said Cihan Aydin, the president of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, in a statement.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.