Turkey detains Kurdish politicians for planning "illegal protests"

Turkish police arrested members of the main pro-Kurdish political party Thursday for allegedly organizing "illegal protests," the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

They were among more than 17 people detained in Istanbul in a series of raids by heavily armed police. The report claimed many of the people had links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

In the raid against the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) offices in Istanbul, the police seized a walkie-talkie and organizational documents. Protests by the party are taking place near the office.

The HDP is the third-largest party in parliament, but is regularly shunned by the government - including from recent rallies held to protest against the failed July 15 coup attempt. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses it of links to terrorism.

HDP has condemned recent attacks by the PKK - including several lethal bombings on Wednesday targeting security forces in the south-east- and urges a peaceful solution to the long running conflict in Turkey between the state and Kurdish militants.

In more than 30 years of fighting, upwards of 40,000 people have been killed, mostly in the largely Kurdish south-east of the country.

The Kurdish minority has long complained of systemic discrimination and heavy handed crackdowns by the authorities.

Last update: Thu, 11/08/2016 - 12:14

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