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Fears raised after abduction of HDP youth activist in Ankara by group posing as plainclothes police

FEARS have been raised over the safety of a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) youth activist who was allegedly kidnapped in the Turkish capital Ankara in broad daylight on Wednesday.

Ezgi Orak was bundled into the back of a vehicle by three men and a woman posing as plainclothes police officers and taken to an undisclosed location.

Two people with her when she was abducted claim they they were beaten and attacked by the kidnappers.

They explained that their path was blocked by a grey Ford Transit van with the registration number 06 DB 3154 and that Ms Orak was detained after they said there was an outstanding warrant for her arrest.

Lawyers contacted the Ankara police counter-terrorism unit immediately after the HDP Youth Council member was taken, but they were initially told she was not being held there.

Eventually police admitted that they were holding Ms Orak, but did not give any further details.

Ms Orak has been targeted by the Turkish state after she was first arrested and interrogated last November following an anonymous complaint.

She has reported regular harassment, telling human rights organisations that police had pressured her to become an informant.

HDP members and supporters are frequently targeted by forces linked to the Turkish state. 

Its youth members warned of a “dirty war” earlier this year after a spate of disappearances, with HDP activists threatened with violence, rape or even execution if they refused to work as government spies.

The HDP says that the Turkish state fears a politicised youth, instructing security services to “smash its organised structures to make it incapable of acting.” 

The abduction of Ms Orak comes days after two armed men posing as plainclothes police attempted to break into the home of Ankara HDP MP Tulay Hatimogullari.

They fled as she raised the alarm, with the party believing she may have been assassinated had she opened the door.

In June HDP member Deniz Poyraz was shot dead in the party offices in the coastal city of Izmir by a gunman linked to the far-right Grey Wolves paramilitary organisation.

And earlier this year Socialist Party of the Oppressed activist Gokhan Gunes was kidnapped on the streets of Istanbul and held for five days in a torture cell by a group identifying themselves as “the invisibles.”

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