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Turkey arrests over 60 Kurdish politicians on eve of elections

Published: March 31, 2019
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Source: kurdistan24.net

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish police on Saturday conducted raids on 127 homes in Istanbul and arrested at least 53 people, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) candidates for the city council, as the country goes to ballot boxes for nationwide local elections in less than 24 hours.

Elsewhere in the southern Sanliurfa province, police arrested 11 others campaigning for the elections, the HDP said in a statement to the public, adding the reason for arrests was not specified yet.

In the cities of Adana, Van, and Igdir, authorities reprimanded 31 party members to prisons on “terrorism-related” charges.

The current wave of now a years-long crackdown on the Kurdish opposition came days after Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu promised a large-scale operation targeting the HDP.

The party that with the support of other Kurdistani parties have fielded candidates in major Kurdish population centers where it traditionally wins most elections.

But it did not do so in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir where the ratio of an average of above 10 percent votes it gets can swing the results in favor of the Turkish opposition against the right-wing coalition led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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