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Turkey detains Kurdish figures ahead of vital polls

At least 126 politicians, journalists, lawyers and artists have been detained in an operation that observers call an intimidation tactic before the May 14 elections.
ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images

ISTANBUL — More than 120 people were detained across Turkey on Tuesday in an alleged counter-terrorism operation that targeted mainly Kurdish politicians, journalists, lawyers and artists less than three weeks ahead of crucial elections

Police raided addresses across 21 provinces in an investigation led by prosecutors in Diyarbakir, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. The southeastern city is the de facto capital of Turkey’s Kurds. 

By mid-afternoon 126 suspects had been taken into custody, Anadolu said, although other media outlets said the tally had passed 150. 

According to the government, the operation targeted the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a 39-year war against the Turkish state that has cost tens of thousands of lives. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union. 

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