Over 40 people arrested in the past 48 hours

Over 40 people have been arrested following the latest police raids in the context of the so called KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) operation. It is estimated that the number of arrests may increase.

The operation was launched by the 10th Istanbul Special Authorized High Criminal Court and involved raids in the cities of Adana, Ankara, İstanbul, Mersin, Bingöl, İzmir, Batman, Diyarbakır, Siirt, Urfa, Ağrı, Van, Muş, Hakkari and Mardin.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) premises, Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions (KESK) central office, Human Rights Association (İHD), Teacher Trade Union (Eğitim Sen), Kurdish association KURDİ-DER, Solidarity Association with Prisoners Families (TUHAD-DER), Dicle Fırat Cultural Centre were all raided by police which also confiscated all these institutions’ archives. A total of 123 places in 17 provinces have been raided during the operations.

Here the names of the people taken into custody:

In Istanbul, BDP Zeytinburnu Branch Chair Nezir Erdemli; BDP City Executives Doğan Çiftçi and Nazire Güneş, Esenyurt Co-Chair Şafak Özanlı and İlyas Demir; Esenyurt Branch Executive Tahsin Karçık; Esenyurt Branch staffer İsmail Çelik; Bağcılar Branch Co-Chair Zekiye İlbasan; Pendik Branch Vice-Chair Kemal Dülger; Esenler Former Chair Celal Alphan; BDP Center Education Committee Member Berat Birtek; BDP staffers Ramazan Yıldız, Neslihan Güner, Bişar Uzun, Rıza Taşdelen; in İzmir-Bornova BDP Branch Executive Fuat Aras; in Diyarbakır ‘Eğitim Branch member Gülsüm Çelik; Diyarbakır BDP staffer Zeki Arşimet; in Antep BDP Former Executive Meryem Akgül; in Mersin, Resul Aşkan and BDP Assembly Member Gülistan Balkaş; in Muş BDP Assembly Member Emrullah Bingöl; in Ağrı-Doğubayazıt Municipal Council Nazan Bağlan Söğüt; in Ankara, KESK Consultant İsmet Aslan, BDP Vice-Co-Chair and former Van Deputy Fatma Kurtulan, former BDP Central Committee Member and former Chair of pro-Kurdish Party DEHAP Tuncer Bakırhan; BDP staffer Mahmut Polat; DİHA Ankara reporter Murat Çiftçi.

All the people taken into custody have been transferred to the Istanbul Police Headquarters in the the Vatan Street except KESK member Sevgül Tutaş, who was released after police interrogation in Bursa-Gemlik.