Kurdish deputy Semra Guzel arrested in Turkey
Kurdish deputy Semra Guzel, whose parliamentary immunity had earlier been lifted, was arrested on Friday in Turkey over terror charges.
Guzel’s immunity was lifted on 1 March in the context of some photos taken in 2014 with a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who she was engaged to before she was elected to the Turkish Grand Assembly.
Guzel was elected to the Turkish Parliament as Diyarbakir deputy for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in 2018.
Her arrest was announced by the Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu with a tweet addressing Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
Soylu said in his tweet:
"Dear Kilicdaroglu, we have bad news for you. HDPKK member Semra Guzel has been busted. Guzel was captured in a successful operation by the MIT [Turkey's National Intelligence Agency] and the Istanbul Police Department while she was traveling with a fake ID to Edirne alongside a migrant smuggler named A.G. and someone who spread propaganda for the group."
By addressing Kilicdaroglu in his tweet, Soylu tried to reiterate his claim that there is a secret alliance between HDP and CHP. By referring to an ambiguous "HDPKK", he also tried to voice a much repeated claim that HDP, the third largest group in the Turkish Grand Assembly, is secretly linked to PKK, designated a "terror group" by Ankara. The "group" he mentioned at the end of his tweet is a reference to PKK.
The Turkish media reported the incident as the arrest of "former deputy Semra Guzel" although Guzel is still a deputy.