Turkish prosecutors have issued detention warrants for 50 women on charges of membership in a terrorist organization as part of an investigation based on witness statements, local media reported on Tuesday.
The warrants were issued by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in an investigation carried out in 14 provinces across Turkey into suspects alleged to be members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Designated as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, the PKK has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Some of the suspects, who were identified from witness statements, were detained in early morning raids, but the exact number of detainees is not yet known, Turkish media reports said.
The investigation comes in the aftermath of a blast in central İstanbul that killed six people and wounded 81 on Nov. 13. Turkey has blamed the attack on the PKK, but the terrorist group has denied any involvement.
Turkey on Nov. 20 carried out airstrikes on the bases of Kurdish militants in northern Syria and Iraq, which it said were being used to launch “terrorist” attacks on Turkish soil, as part of an offensive codenamed Operation Claw-Sword.
Last week Turkey said it was more determined than ever to secure its Syrian border from attacks by Kurdish forces, threatening a ground operation “at the most convenient time.”