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Turkey Opposition party members detained in dawn raids

TURKISH police arrested nine opposition party members in a series of dawn raids in the country’s Mus province yesterday.

Addresses in the centre of Varto and surrounding villages were targeted by security services who detained members of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and its sister party the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

Those detained included former city councillors Mehmet Ozcelik, Ziya Ozcelik, Remziye Birsin, Tefek Kucak and Yilmaz Ozcelik.

Opposition politicians across Turkey are accused of a range of terrorism offences as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime uses the country’s state of emergency to clamp down on all forms of dissent.

This month saw the trials of the HDP co-leaders Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas in a high-security Ankara prison complex.

Prosecutors are seeking an aggravated life sentence for Ms Yuksekdag, a leading feminist and socialist political figure in Turkey, which would mean spending the rest of her life in solitary confinement. 

Mr Demirtas faces a 142-year jail term for “establishing a terrorist organisation,” “spreading terror group propaganda” and “praising crimes and criminals.”

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