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Turkey arrests HDP deputy Baluken, others referred to court for arrest

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A Turkish court on Friday arrested İdris Baluken, one of 11 pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies who were detained in the early hours of Friday following police raids on their homes, while other HDP deputies including the party’s co-chairs were referred to court for arrest.

Baluken, a deputy from Diyarbakır, was arrested by a court in Bingöl, a province in eastern Turkey.

Counterterrorism police in the early hours of Friday raided HDP headquarters in Ankara and conducted a search of the premises while 12 deputies, including Co-chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş, were detained in police operations in Ankara and the southeastern provinces. One of the deputies from Diyarbakır, Ziya Pir, was released on probation on Friday morning.

When a police officer pressed on Baluken’s head as he was getting into a police car after his detention at HDP headquarters in Ankara on Friday, the HDP deputy said: “Don’t press on my head. I am a representative of hundreds of thousands of voters. You cannot take me by pressing on my head.”

Baluken is also the parliamentary group deputy chairman of the HDP.

Other HDP deputies who are currently under detention are Şırnak deputies Ferhat Encü, Leyla Birlik, Hakkari deputies Selma Irmak and Abdullah Zeydan; Diyarbakır deputies İmam Taşçıer and  Nursel Aydoğan, Ankara deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder; and Mardin deputy Gülser Yıldırım.

HDP Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız and Van deputy Tuğba Hezer Öztürk, who also face detention, have been reported to be out of the country.



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