Turkish police teams have detained 31 Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP) and Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) officials in raids on their homes in İstanbul ahead of a HDP party congress slated for Feb.11.
The detentions, which began on Tuesday night and continued until Wednesday morning, took place across 22 districts of İstanbul.
The detainees were taken to the counterterrorism unit of the İstanbul Police Department for interrogation.
HDP party spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen told the Evrensel daily that the detentions were politically motivated and aimed at preventing the party congress from taking place. Noting that similar efforts were made in the past, Bilgen said: “This will not result in submission. To the contrary it will lead to the standing up for the congress process with more determination.”
Former HDP Co-chairpersons Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ as well as several other deputies and dozens of party members are currently in jail on terror charges. The party will hold its third general party congress on Sunday and elect its new co-chairpersons.