Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Tuesday called on Turkish citizens to inform the authorities about people who are sympathizers of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Speaking during a visit to southeastern Hakkari province along with officials from the police and the military, Soylu said Turkey is in a total war against the PKK and needs people’s support.
“The government needs people’s support in every step it takes. It is a total fight [against the PKK]. Denounce PKK sympathizers and those who oppress people [on behalf of the PKK] to the police and gendarmerie,” he said.
Following twin bomb blasts on Saturday night that killed 44 people and wounded more than 160 outside Vodafone Arena in the Beşiktaş district of İstanbul, a total of 568 people have been detained across 28 provinces over links to the PKK.
The operations, targeting alleged members or supporters of the terrorist PKK/Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), were launched following an announcement from an offshoot of the PKK, the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), which on Sunday claimed responsibility for the twin bombings.
Most of the detainees are from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). HDP spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen announced on Monday that at least 237 officials from his party had been detained in simultaneous raids since Monday morning.