Turkish police detained a member of the Green Left Party (YSP) among eight other women in simultaneous raids on their houses in Turkey’s eastern Van province early Thursday for allegedly spreading terrorist propaganda,” the Mezopotamya news agency reported.
Among the detainees were Hanım Kaya, Van branch co-chair of the Aid and Solidarity Association for People Who Lost Relatives in the Cradle of Civilizations (MEBYA-DER); Gülşen Kurt, co-chair of the Migrants’ Association for Social Cooperation and Culture (Göç-Der); and Caziye Duman, former co-mayor of the Saray district of Van from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), in addition to the YSP’s co-spokesperson for Van, Gönül Uzunay, Mezopotamya said.
The detentions come after the HDP, which is facing possible closure before elections slated for May 14, recently decided to compete under the banner of the YSP.
Turkey’s top prosecutor filed a case against the HDP, the second-largest opposition party in the Turkish Parliament, in March 2021, accusing it of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging a bloody war in Turkey’s southeast since 1984 and is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.
The party, which denies any links to the PKK, describes the case as politically motivated.
In the past when pro-Kurdish parties faced similar threats, they either fielded independent candidates or ran under the banner of other parties.
Turkey’s political history is filled with pro-Kurdish parties that were shut down on terrorism charges. Every time a party was closed, another one was established in short order.
The HDP is widely seen as the kingmaker in the presidential election on May 14 that could end the two-decade rule of current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is seeking re-election.