Local Kurdish politician in İstanbul arrested on terrorism charges

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A district co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in İstanbul has been arrested on terrorism charges, according to Turkish media reports.

On Jan. 23, police raided the HDP office in İstanbul’s Esenyurt district and detained several party members including Esenyurt district co-chairpersons Dilan Kılıç and Ercan Sağlam. The raid was conducted due to the fact that posters of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), were displayed at the office, according to reports. The co-chairs, who were released after their first detention, were detained again over the weekend.

While Sağlam was arrested on Sunday on charges of terrorist organization membership, Kılıç was released on judicial probation and a travel ban was imposed on her.

The HDP is accused by the Turkish government of links to the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

Since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, the Turkish government has aggressively been targeting the HDP, among other non-loyalist citizens, unseating dozens of its democratically elected mayors and arresting scores of party politicians on politically motivated charges.

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