Alp Altınörs, deputy co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), was arrested along with five others in the central province of Tokat on Friday.
Sixteen people, including Altınörs, were detained for membership in the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) six days ago as part of an investigation launched by the Tokat Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. Twelve of them were put under arrest, while four have been released on probation.
“This is a plot against our party. We will make it null and void,” shouted Altınörs as he entered the courthouse with his hands handcuffed behind his back.
HDP Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş strongly criticized Altınörs’ arrest in a statement on Friday.
“Altınörs is an honorable revolutionist with his head held high. He is not a thief, not a vile man and not an enemy of the public. He is our pride,” Demirtaş said.
Since the collapse of the settlement process between the Turkish state and the PKK in 2015, an increasing number of HDP members have been facing legal action on terrorism charges. The parliamentary immunity of some HDP deputies was lifted by Parliament in June.
In a related development, an Adana court accepted an indictment against HDP Co-chairperson Demirtaş on terrorism charges on Aug. 25. The Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor’s Office on Sept. 6 invited Demirtaş to visit the Diyarbakır Courthouse to give testimony concerning accusations that he is a member of an armed terrorist organization.
A Diyarbakır court hearing a trial involving the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) ruled on Sept. 5 that eight deputies from the HDP would be brought to court under police escort to testify.
The government appointed trustees to 24 municipalities in Turkey’s Southeast for their alleged links with the PKK on Sunday.