Ankara Begins Another Purge of Kurdish Opposition Figures

Turkish police clashed with protesters during demonstrations in 2014

Garo Paylan, Other HDP Lawmakers, Threatened with Stripping of Legislative Immunity

Official Ankara began a new purge of pro-Kurdish activist in Turkey by issuing arrest warrants for 82 people, including major Kurdish political figures, for their suspected involvement in large-scale violent protests in 2014, state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

Of the 82, 18 people, including former parliamentary deputies, mayors and ex-party leaders of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), have been detained so far in an operation by counterterrorism units simultaneously covering seven provinces, the news agency said.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Prosecutor General announced Friday that his office has begun the process of stripping the parliamentary immunity of seven HDP lawmakers, among them Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of Turkey’s parliament who represents the pro-Kurdish party. They are being targeted for their membership in the HDP’s executive committee during the 2014 demonstrations, the Turkish Tele1 reported.

The nationwide operation, ordered by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor, was conducted after an investigation into the organization of widespread protests in Oct. 2014. Demonstrators had flooded the streets in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast, accusing the Turkish military of standing by as the Islamic State besieged Kobani, a Kurdish town just across the Syrian border. The protests led to the deaths of 37 people.
Among those apprehended were former deputy and HDP mayor of the city of Kars Ayhan Bilgen, former HDP deputies Ayla Akat Ata, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Altan Tan, Nazmi Gür, Emine Beyza Üstün and Emine Ayna, and Alp Altınörs, a member of the party’s Central Executive Board, it said.

Former HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ Şenoğlu were previously detained by police in the same investigation. Both are in jail for alleged terrorism offences.

Ankara claims that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) incited the demonstrations and is accusing the HDP of having link to the PKK and supporting the protests. The HDP, the third largest party in parliament, denies the charges.


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  1. Aaron Garcia said:

    On June 7, 2015, Erdogan’s Salafi-Islamist fascist ruling party, AKP, lost its Parliamentary majority to a new Kurdish political party, HDP. This most significant peaceful achievement by the Kurds on that day was translated into Erdogan’s major failure. Koohzad (June 15, 2015) called this chapter of Kurdish struggle: “Moving From Bullets to Ballots.” He added, “After hearing the news, for the first time in over a dozen years, President Erdogan disappeared, went silent, and shed a few drops of tears for losing the majority status in the Grand Turkish National Assembly. He was most upset because he could not become an absolute Sultan of the country. Those who previously voted for him and his party had become fed up with his lies, deceptions, and involvement in Jihadist terrorism.”

    • Aaron Garcia said:

      In a short time, Erdogan retaliated by instigating a reign of terror to frighten the general public, especially the Kurds, and to support his party in a snap election that followed. He told the Turks that they had to support his party’s agenda. Otherwise, there would be a political and economic crisis, chaos, instability, and bloodshed. This threat of state terrorism worked for him. He was able to force the nationalists, and even some secularists and Kurds, to vote for him in November. From this experience, he learned that the Turks wanted stability at any cost under his Islamist regime. This was a valuable lesson for his terrorist political party. Even after victory in the snap election, Erdogan’s state sponsored terrorism within the country not only continued but also increased.

  2. Aaron Garcia said:

    Actually, by the summer of 2014 Turkey was on its way to becoming the newest “failed state” in the Middle East, Southwest Asia and North Africa. Politically speaking, today Turkey is not very different to terrorist-ridden countries such as Somalia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. In Turkey, it is the state that is committing acts of terrorism against its own citizens. Between 2015-2016, the largest numbers of Kurdish people in the world have been killed in Turkey under a direct order of the tyrant Turkish President Erdogan. Using helicopters and tanks in the cities of Kurdistan, soon-to-be-Sultan Erdogan has ordered a full-scale war against defenseless Kurds. He has been able to terrorize anybody who does not like him.

  3. Aaron Garcia said:

    2015 was a year when ISIS killed the largest number of mostly innocent Kurds ever, with Erdogan’s approval. The ISIS attackers were helped by the MIT, Turkish secret police. The attackers executed what was planned by the regime. If in some cases the attackers were not directly helped, they were stopped. Turkish authorities provided their Jihadist friends with access to Kurdish communities. Direct government attacks and ISIS bombings on the Kurds intensified after the June 7 election that resulted in Erdogan’s party losing the majority in the Turkish Parliament.
    On January 26, 2015, after 134 days of fighting, the YPG, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters from Syria, also known as the People’s Protection Units, took control of the Kurdish city of Kobani, now entitled The Kurdish Stalingrad, from ISIS. Turkey was one of the founding fathers of this so-called Islamic State. As a terrorist state, the Turkish regime was hoping for the fall of this city and a massacre of its population. On July 20, 2015, the Suruc Massacre happened. An explosion killed 33 mostly young Kurdish people in the city of Suruc in southeastern Turkey, near the border with Syria. Suruc lies across the border from the Syrian city of Kobani, which had seen heavy fighting between Kurdish forces and Islamic State militants. The young Kurds were planning to go Kobani to help with the reconstruction of the city. On October 10, 2015, two explosions at a peace rally of mostly Kurds in the Turkish capital of Ankara killed at least 95 people and injured 245. This is the largest number of innocent civilians killed and wounded in Turkey on a single day, due to a terrorist attack.