35 people were taken into custody on Monday (25 April) in an operation regarding the investigation into the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The operation was carried out in Hakkari, a Kurdish-majority province close the Iraqi border on the south-eastern tip of Anatolia. About 20,000 people took the street for a sit-down protest after the operation.
Numerous municipality executives are among the people taken in custody. The directive for the operation was given by the Special Authority Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Van and Diyarbakır, two other provinces in the pre-dominantly Kurdish region of south-eastern Turkey.
Thousands of people gathered in front of the "Tent for a Democratic Solution", including executives of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The Hakkari Democracy Platform, consisting of 42 institutions, condemned the custodies in a press release.
About 10,000 people set off for to attend a march to the neighbouring province of Van subsequent to the press statement.
Hakkari Bar Association President İs mail Durgun, spokesman of the Democracy Platfrom, told bianet, "They released arrest warrants; the file is confidential". He said that they had not been given any further information.
"The people took the streets. 20,000 people wanted to walk from Hakkari to Van. We appeased the crowd in order to avoid tension to arise among the democratic mass organizations. There is a sit-down protest going on right now. The governor promised us not to intervene against the crowd; we hope they will keep their word".
35 People in Custody
Read here a list of people taken into police custody in the scope of the operation:
BDP Hakkari Provincial Deputy Chairman Orhan Koparan, Deputy Mayor Nurullah Çiftçi, Assistant Mayor Hatice Demir, Provincial General Assembly President Ferzinde Yılmaz, Municipality Council Member Selim Engin, Abdullah Kılıç, Provincial General Assembly Members Mehtap Deştan Demirer, Selahattin Kurt, provincial executive Rahmi Temel, İsmail Keskin, Maruf Engin, Ekrem İdem, Central Distirct Chair Kenan Kaya, Pehlivan District Headman İsa Saklı, Central District Accountant Mehmet Yürür, İsmet Çetinkaya, Municipality Council Member Melek Atan, Confederation of Trade Unions of Public Employees (KESK) Executive and Tes-İş Spokesman Kadir Şahin, former Central District President of the defunct pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) Fahri Kurt, Şükrü Karaduman, Rahmi Bal, Yasin Kurt, Kasım Temel, Azat Aslan, Sabit Karaman, Ramazan Engin, Memduh Özdemir, İlhan Korkmaz, Nebi Kurt, Zeki İdem, Kadir Çelik, Yunus Bor, Fadıl Korkmaz, Faruk Aksaç and one person whose identity is not known. (NV/EÖ/VK)