In Turkey, a tight race is expected in the presidential election. Now there are raids shortly before – because of alleged connections to the banned PKK.
In Turkey, almost three weeks before the presidential and parliamentary elections, 110 people were arrested for alleged links to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Among them are high-ranking officials of the pro-Kurdish opposition party HDP, the state news agency Anadolu reported on Tuesday.
An HDP spokesman told the German Press Agency that deputy chairman Özlem Gündüz and other party members had been arrested. Recent polls suggest that pro-Kurdish voters could play a crucial role in the May 14 ballot.
Also arrested journalists and lawyers
Specifically, there were police raids in 21 provinces, Anadolu reported. The public prosecutor’s office in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır accuses the suspects of having financially supported the PKK and engaging in terrorist propaganda. The Diyarbakır Bar Association said on Twitter that journalists and lawyers were among those arrested.
A tight outcome is expected in the May 14 elections. According to polls, opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the CHP has a good chance of replacing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after 20 years in power. Since the introduction of a presidential system in 2018, the president has had far-reaching powers, but parliament has been weakened. The HDP is the second largest opposition party in parliament. Erdogan accuses the HDP of being an extension of the PKK, which is banned in Turkey, the EU and the US. The HDP denies this allegation.
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