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[UPDATE] HDP Şanlıurfa deputy Öcalan released after brief detention

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As a crackdown on the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) continues, HDP Şanlıurfa deputy Dilek Öcalan was released on Tuesday after a brief detention earlier in the day in İstanbul.

Dilek Öcalan, niece of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), announced her detention from her Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon.

“I was detained at the airport in İstanbul,” she wrote.

Öcalan was reportedly taken into custody as she was about to travel to Milan. She was also briefly detained in early February.

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 late 2016 arrested 11 HDP deputies, including the party’s Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. One of these deputies, İdris Baluken, was released from jail last Monday. With the arrest of two more HDP deputies last week, there are currently 12 HDP deputies behind bars.

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