18 including local HDP co-chairs arrested in Suruc
Police arrested 18 people in dawn raids on several homes in the Suruc district of Urfa on Monday, including district co-chairs of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
The reasons for the arrests have not been disclosed by authorities, but it has been reported that those detained have been subjected to 24-hour lawyer restrictions since being taken to the Urfa police headquarters.
The Suruc District Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into the detained individuals, accusing them of being members of a terrorist organization, providing financial support and committing fraud against a public institution. The names of those taken into custody are as follows:
Hulya Demir, former co-mayor of Suruc; Yasar Gunduzalp, co-chair of HDP Suruc; Rojda Binici and Mehmet Akif Yildiz, co-chairs of DBP Suruc; Zeki Bali, Asiye Firat, Maide Kurttekin, Nermin Cakır, Osman Akgun, Sabri Kaya, Bulent Kocyigit, Feryal Celikbas, Salih Kaplan, Ergun Akaslan, Bulent Kocyigit, Avni Gokkan, Ismet Bali, and Mustafa Bali.
The DBP and HDP are both pro-Kurdish parties that have faced increasing pressure from the Turkish government in recent years. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has accused the parties of being linked to the outlawed PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party,) a claim that Kurdish parties deny.