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Police prevent Kurdish party from holding press conference on Syria incursion

A girl flashes the victory sign as holding a flag bearing the logo of Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) as Turkish Kurds gather during Newroz celebrations for the new year in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, on March 21, 2018. Newroz (also known as Nawroz or Nowruz) is an ancient Persian festival, which is also celebrated by Kurdish people, marking the first day of spring, which falls on March 21. / AFP PHOTO / ILYAS AKENGIN

Turkish police on Monday prevented Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) officials in Diyarbakır from holding a press conference on Turkey’s military operation targeting Syrian Kurds, the Diken news website reported.

According to video footage posted on Twitter by the HDP Diyarbakır branch, police blocked the gates of HDP headquarters with their shields and prevented anyone from exiting the building for hours.

The report claimed the police also sprayed pepper gas inside the building before lifting the barricade.

The HDP, the third largest party in parliament, deems the Turkish incursion in Syria an “invasion” and was the only political party to strongly criticize the military operation launched last week.

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