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30 detained after attending Nevruz celebrations in western Turkey

Turkish police on Tuesday detained 30 people who took part in Nevruz celebrations on March 20 in the popular holiday resort of Bodrum, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.

The people were reportedly detained for allegedly shouting slogans at the celebrations that contained “criminal content.”

Nevruz is celebrated by Kurds as the first day of spring; however, Nevruz celebrations have often been marked by heavy-handed police intervention in Turkey.

The detainees were taken to the district police department.

Zuhal Macit, co-chair of the Bodrum branch of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said some 1,000 people attended the Nevruz celebrations in the district and that approximately 30 of them were taken into custody, the Sözcü newspaper reported.

“We have learned that some party members and citizens were taken into police custody in connection with the Nevruz celebrations. I am in Tokat and trying to get information through the chairman of our provincial organization. We do not have much clear information,” she said.

In 2017 a police officer fatally shot Kurdish university student Kemal Kurkut during Nevruz celebrations in Diyarbakır. Police found poetry books and clothing in Kurkut’s backpack after he was shot on suspicion that he was a “suicide bomber.”

Last year İstanbul police detained 14 people in the city celebration of Nevruz. Four people were detained for allegedly resisting police, while 10 were taken into custody on charges of disseminating “terrorist propaganda.”

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