US State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said at the regular press briefing on Tuesday the United States is certainly concerned by the large-scale detentions and arrests of politicians from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) following twin blasts in İstanbul on Saturday.
When asked for comments on the arrest of over 500 people, mainly from the HDP, by Turkish authorities after the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks, Kirby said: “We’re certainly concerned by the large-scale detention of HDP lawmakers and party members in these continuing anti-terror raids. And as we’ve said many, many times, and even in the fight against terrorism, democracies need to pursue actions that reinforce the public’s confidence in the rule of law.”
Underlining that Turkey is an ally and friend of the US, Kirby said the US is not bashful and also not afraid to be frank with Turkey about concerns that it has with respect to the rule of law and freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and the importance of protecting free media inside Turkey.
Turkey’s Interior Ministry announced in a statement on Wednesday that a total of 568 people were detained across 28 provinces Dec.12-13 as part of an investigation into the twin bomb attacks in İstanbul on Saturday night.
The operations, targeting alleged members or supporters of the terrorist PKK/Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), were launched following TAK on Sunday claiming responsibility for the twin bombings that killed 44 people and wounded more than 160 outside Vodafone Arena in the Beşiktaş district of İstanbul.