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Former HDP deputy arrested on terrorism charges

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A former lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has been arrested in eastern Turkey on charges of membership in a terrorist organization, Turkish media outlets reported.

Former HDP lawmaker Behçet Yıldırım, who was detained last week in a raid on his house as part of an investigation conducted by the Adıyaman Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, was arrested by a court on Friday. The former deputy is accused of membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the US and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).

Both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), frequently accuse the HDP, the second-largest opposition group in parliament, of ties to the PKK. The party denies the claims.

Erdoğan’s systematic campaign to restrict the rights of the HDP over the past few years, which includes a closure case against the party and the detention of more than 5,000 HDP lawmakers, executives and party members on politically motivated charges, has prompted international condemnation.

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