Published by Ekurd Daily on January 20, 2017

Turkey’s Kurdish HDP lawmaker Ayse Acar Basaran. Photo: HDP’s FB

Turkey’s Kurdish HDP lawmaker Ayse Acar Basaran. Photo: HDP’s FB

ANKARA,— A member of Turkish parliament from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Ayse Acar Basaran, was arrested early Friday in Ankara, according to security sources, state-run Anadolu agency reported.

According to the source Ankara Police Department’s Anti-Terror Branch arrested Ayse Acar Basaran, the HDP’s Batman deputy, on charges of aiding and abetting to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

In May, parliament voted to strip lawmakers of their legal immunity, paving the way for the HDP legislators’ arrests.

In November 12 Kurdish HDP lawmakers, including the two co-leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, were arrested on charges of links to the PKK which they deny.

Thousands of officials from the HDP have been detained since 2015. Turkey detained 200 HDP members in December 2016.

The government accuses the HDP of having links to the PKK, a charge that the HDP denies.

11 of 59 Kurdish MPs arrested

HDP Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, Şırnak MPs Ferhat Encu, Leyla Birlik, Hakkari MPs Selma Irmak, Abdullah Zeydan, Diyarbakır MPs İdris Baluken, Nursel Aydogan, Ziya Pir, İmam Tascıer, Ankara MP Sırrı Sureyya Onder and Mardin MP Gulser Yıldırım were taken into custody on November 4.

Pir, Tascıer and Onder were released on probation.

Yuksekdag, Demirtas, Baluken, Birlik, Irmak, Aydogan, Yıldırım, Zeydan and Encu were arrested on the same day.

HDP Hakkari MP Akdogan was arrested on November 7.

HDP Group Deputy Chair Çaglar Demirel and HDP Siirt MP Besime Konca were arrested on December 13, which increased the number of arrested HDP MPs to 12.

HDP İstanbul MP Filiz Kerestecioglu and HDP Mus MP Ahmet Yıldırım were replaced for the arrested group deputy chairs.

Şırnak MP Leyla Birlik was released on January 4.

With the release of Birlik, the number of arrested HDP MPs has dropped to 11.

The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 79-million population.

A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels and Abdullah Ocalan, who founded the PKK group in 1974, and has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide according to observers.

(With files

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