Ankara orders detention of 82 Kurdish politicians over protests against alleged Turkish support for ISIL


The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office ordered detentions of 82 prominent pro-Kurdish politicians on Friday, detaining some of them as of Friday morning in police raids, state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

According to the report of AA, the detention warrants were issued over politicians’ alleged role in protests in Kurdish majority cities against what is seen by many as the Turkish government’s tacit approval of the Kobane siege in 2014 when militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) who were at the peak of their power, laid a prolonged siege to a Kurdish town in northern Syria.

Among the detainees are Ayhan Bilgen, co-mayor of the eastern city of Kars, Altan Tan, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Emine Ayna, Nazmi Gör, and Beyza Üstün, former MPs from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). According to the Turkish media citing the prosecutor’s office, they will be held in detention for four days.

Yüksel Kocaman, Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor, recently drew criticism for visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the presidential palace with his bride immediately after a family wedding. The visit of Kocaman, who received a wedding gift from Erdoğan, has become the subject of discussion as an indication of the current state of judicial independence, or lack thereof.

“Such would be the honeymoon of a prosecutor of AKP [ruling party]: ‘Many HDP members were detained within the scope of a probe launched by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Yüksel Kocaman who went to the palace to visit Erdoğan after a family wedding,” tweeted Can Dündar, a prominent Turkish journalist in exile who survived an assassination attempt back in his home country in 2016.

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