A total of 16,300 members of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have been detained while 3,500 others have been sent to jail since 2015, according to HDP deputy Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.
Ankara accuses the HDP of links to the militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Tiryaki’s remarks came during a demonstration in the eastern Turkish province of Batman protesting the detention of 30 Kurdish activists and politicians.
“[Despite the detentions and arrests] our party is standing on its own two feet, and we made them [the government] lose in İstanbul, Ankara and in many other places,” he said.
Former HDP Co-chairpersons Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ are also in jail. They were arrested in November 2016.