5 pro-Kurdish HDP advisors detained in Turkey, denied access to legal counsel

A supporter holds a portrait of Selahattin Demirtas,(R) , detained leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) at a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, on November 8, 2016. The arrest of 10 of the HDP MPs, including party leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, added to tensions as Turkey wages a relentless battle against Kurdish militants and deals with the aftermath of a July 15 failed coup.


Turkish police have detained five advisors of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the party said in a statement on Friday.

Underlining that the scope of the operation against the HDP has further widened to include the party’s parliamentary advisors, HDP Deputy Co-chair Responsible for Foreign Affairs Hişyar Özsoy said in a statement: “Special operations police raided the homes of six of our advisors and detained five: Zülküf Kurt, Murat Gökdağ, Olcay Çelik, Muhammed Kaya and Metin Kümek.”

According to the statement, the five advisors are prohibited from consulting legal counsel for five days, and a restriction has been placed on access to their files.

Ten HDP deputies, including Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, were arrested after police raided their houses and HDP offices last weekend.

There being no one at two of the addresses, the police broke the doors and conducted illegal searches in the absence of lawyers and our advisors. In the home of Olcay Çelik, the advisor to our Co-Chair Figen Yüksekdağ, the policemen kept uttering sexist obscenities and profanities targeting Ms. Yüksekdağ,” Özsoy said.

He further said the level of personal engagement and hostility displayed by members of the police force against HDP members and executives was particularly alarming.

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