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Turkey's huge scale of arrests and detentions condemned

TURKEY has been condemned over shocking human rights violations as a new report revealed the scale of arrests and detentions in the two years since a state of emergency was declared.

People’s Democratic Party (HDP) officials have branded attacks on its parliamentarians and activists as part of a “political genocide” being waged against the party after it broke through the 10 per cent barrier in the recent general election.

Investigations were opened today into two more HDP parliamentarians, Diyarbakir MPs Remziye Tosun and Musa Farisogullari who face charges after attending the funeral of guerilla fighter Mehmet Yakisir who was killed in clashes with Turkish security forces in the Black Sea area.

This follows the arrests of 16 HDP activists and officials in Istanbul yesterday for “possession of illegal posters” and the detention of the party’s MP for Hakkari Leyla Guven last month.

Former leaders Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas have been in jail since November 2016 and face lengthy sentences.

Turkish online media outlet Bianet issued its report documenting the arrests and detentions that have taken place since the failed coup attempt of July 2016.

Four days after the failed coup attempt, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a state of emergency which was approved by the Turkish parliament. It has been in place ever since.

A Human Rights Joint Platform (IHOP) claims that 134,144 people have been sacked from their jobs with at least 228,137 people arrested between July 2016 and April 2018.

A staggering 45,415 social media accounts were investigated with legal action taken against 17,089 users on terrorism charges including "propagandising for and praising a terrorist organisation.”

This includes the arrest of 845 people who have criticised Turkey’s so-called Operation Olive Branch, the illegal invasion and occupation of the peaceful province of Afrin in northern Syria.

In an attack on workers’ rights, nineteen trade unions affiliated to two trade union confederations have been closed down under the emergency laws.

Reporters without Borders ranked Turkey 157th out of 180 countries regarding press freedom, falling 59 places under the 12-year rule of Mr Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

According to Bianet’s Media Monitoring Report Turkey remains the world’s biggest jailer of journalists with 131 behind bars.

HDP said the statistics stressed the need to “strengthen democratic politics and social justice” and for a “peaceful solution to the Kurdish question.”

The party called for unity against the “totalitarian forces” of Mr Erdogan and his regime.


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