Attacks against BDP continue

Four provincial chairs of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Kurdistan have been arrested since 1 May within the scope of AKP government operations against BDP executives and members.

The most recent arrests were made in the province of Bingöl where provincial chair Halis Yurtsever as well as BDP members Okan Bıçak and Savaş Şahin were remanded in custody for allegedly “opposing the law on meetings and demonstrations” at different dates.

BDP Maraş provincial chair Metin Gönülşen, Pazarcık district chair Ayşe Sonzamancı, Elbistan district chair Hüseyin Yıldız and BDP member Mahmut Aktaş were also sent to prison in the province of Maraş on 29 May. Arrested BDP members are accused of being members of “KCK” organization.

One other wave of arrests took place in Urfa where 16 BDP members were arrested on 11 May within the scope of an investigation by Diyarbakır Specially Authorized Prosecutor. Among the detainees were also Urfa provincial chairs Fatma İzol and Mehmet Vural, Viranşehir district chair Mehmet Halis Aktaş and district deputy co-chair Birgül Özkara and Ceylanpınar district chair İbrahim Oguri.

BDP Patnos district chair Ekrem Apak and three other BDP members were also arrested on 1 June following Apak’s detention on 29 May during his chemotherapy treatment in a hospital in Adana.

Karaçoban BDP district chair Mehmet Tilki in the province of Erzurum has also been sent to prison in the recent process of intense arrests following the approval of ten months prison sentence asked for Tilki for allegedly making propaganda for an illegal organization in a speech in 2008.

BDP Erciş district chair Mehmet Sıddık Geçer and twelve others were also arrested in the recent process for allegedly being members of an illegal organization. BDP Rüstemgedik district chair Ubeyt Özer was also arrested one week before these arrests.

An operation by Turkish police in Ömerli district of Mardin in May ended up with the detention of almost all BDP members in the district. Including district co-chairs Metin Kaya and Suat Şimşek, 29 people were arrested within the scope of the operation.