Of the 18 Kurdish politicians and activists detained in a police operation in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır on Friday, 14 of them have been referred to court for arrest while four were released under judicial supervision, according to Turkish media reports.
The 18 detainees, which included officials from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and members of some women’s rights organizations such as the Rosa Women’s Association and Free Women’s Movement (TJA), both unofficially linked to the HDP, face terrorism charges.
On Saturday TJA activist Zelal Bilgin, Rosa Women’s Association founding member Ayla Akat Ata, Yenişehir district municipality city council member Nevriye Çur and activist Nazire Tursun were released under judicial supervision.
The remaining detainees including Rosa Women’s Association President Adalet Kaya, founder Narin Gezgör and association executive Fatma Gültekin, Tevgera Jinên Azad (TJA) activist Gülcihan Şimşek, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) previous term Co-chair Mehmet Arslan, HDP Central Executive Committee (MYK) member Özlem Gündüz, HDP Yenişehir District Co-chairperson Remziye Sızıcı, Bağlar Municipal Council members Hüseyin Harman and Gönül Aslan, Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality council member Sevim Coşkun, HDP member Mehmet Ali Altınkaynak, Kurdish politician Celal Yoldaş, Diyarbakır Peace Mothers Council member Havva Kıran and Veysi Kuzu were referred to court for arrest.
The HDP is frequently accused by Ankara of having links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the US. The party denies having organic links to the PKK.
Turkey has removed dozens of democratically elected mayors from their posts on terrorism charges.