Multiple police operations against suspected PKK members in three eastern provinces saw the detention of nearly 40 people, including provincial leaders of two political parties, according to police sources Thursday.
Co-chair the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), Kamuran Yuksek, was detained in Kars as two DBP provincial co-chairs, Caziye Duman and Okkes Kaya, were detained in the Van province along with 17 other suspects.
The early Thursday morning operations were carried out simultaneously in 32 locations as part of a probe launched by the Van Chief Prosecutor’s Office into the PKK’s city and youth branches, the sources said.
Around 1,000 police officers took part in the air-assisted operations, which also led to the seizure of a large cache of ammunition, and organizational documents belonging to the Kurdish militant group, with some of the seized materials found in the DBP’s head office and a municipal cultural center.
Meanwhile, nine people, including the DBP’s provincial co-chair in the Adiyaman province, Riza Bilgic, and the provincial co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Zeliha Karinca, were held in another anti-PKK operation launched in Adiyaman, local police said.
The other detainees include an HDP candidate as well as members of Egitim-Sen, a trade union for education and science workers, they added.
The HDP made historic gains in Turkey's parliamentary elections last June, the first time the pro-Kurdish party had gained seats in parliament. Its success, however, was short-lived when parliament failed to form a government, new elections were called, and Turkish forces began a military campaign against the largely Kurdish southeast.
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