Ankara police detained two lawmakers from the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as part of an anti-terror probe on Dec. 13. One of the suspects was later released.
The HDP’s Diyarbakır deputy and parliamentary group deputy chair, Çağlar Demirel, and its Siirt deputy, Besime Konca, were detained in relation to an ongoing probe in Diyarbakır and Batman. Konca was later released under judicial control.
Konca has been probed for her participation in the March 2016 funeral of an outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant and for her speech delivered at the event.
Demirel has been probed for delivering a speech in the Dicle district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır in the aftermath of military operations against PKK militants.
In her summary of proceedings, Demirel reportedly likened killed PKK militants to “martyrs” and described army operations as “massacres.”
Meanwhile, on the same day, a Diyarbakır court hearing part of the long-running Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) case issued a second order to forcibly bring to court eight suspects in the case, who are all HDP deputies.
Osman Baydemir, Dirayet Taşdemir, Çağlar Demirel, Selma Irmak, Ahmet Yıldırım, Besime Konca, Alican Önlü and Nadir Yıldırım were ruled to be brought forcibly to court after not showing up during their trials.
The detention of Demirel and Konca came amid major operations conducted against a large number of suspects, including local HDP executives, over terror links in 28 Turkish provinces.
The Interior Ministry announced on Dec. 13 that in the operations carried out over two days 568 people, including individuals suspected of conducting propaganda on behalf of terrorist organizations on social media, had been detained.