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9 HDP officials including İstanbul provincial co-chairs arrested

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Nine officials from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) including the party’s provincial co-chairs in İstanbul were arrested on Thursday on the 25th day of their detention.

News of the arrest of the HDP officials was announced from the Twitter account of the HDP provincial branch in İstanbul.

“Nine of our party administrators including our provincial co-chairs Aysel Güzel and Doğan Erbaş were arrested, while two of our administrators were put under house arrest,” said the Twitter message.

Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians in recent months. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while Turkish courts in November arrested 10 HDP deputies including the party’s co-chairs. Two more HDP deputies were also arrested in December, bringing the total number of HDP deputies under arrest to 12.

One of the deputies, Leyla Birlik, was released from jail on Wednesday. There are currently 11 HDP deputies behind bars.

Turkey has also arrested dozens of local Kurdish politicians on terrorism charges.

The developments have attracted widespread criticism from the region and Western countries.

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