Police operations against the HDP and civil society organizations

Statement by our Foreign Affairs Spokespersons Feleknas Uca and Hişyar Özsoy:

As we approach the general and presidential elections on 14 May, the AKP-MHP government, out of fear of losing power, has once again resorted to detention operations. On 25 April 2023, at least 110 people were detained, including our deputy co-chair Ms. Özlem Gündüz, a member of the central executive board, Mr. Mahfuz Güleryüz and dozens of our members.

The police raids carried out as part of a Diyarbakır based investigation mostly targeted the HDP and organizations including Mezopotamya News Agency (MA), Yeni Yaşam newspaper, and the Lawyers for Freedom Association (ÖHD. The operations have spread to 21 cities of Turkey and dozens of people, including journalists, politicians, lawyers, artists, and activists have been detained. The charges against the detainees are still unclear because there is a confidentiality order on the investigation. Among the detainees are Ferhat Çelik, owner of the Mezopotamya News Agency (MA), Abdurrahman Gök, an editor at the agency, Osman Akın, managing editor of the daily Yeni Yaşam newspaper, and Kadri Esen, the publisher of Xwebûn newspaper, the only Kurdish newspaper in Turkey.

The government, which has been trying to prolong its life with political coups, massacres, black propaganda, special warfare methods, threats, blackmail, and all kinds of attacks since 2015, has started a new political coup against the 14 May elections with the detentions this morning. This operation is against the elections and the will of the people. It is a clear intimidation and threat to society and to its political preferences. It is not a coincidence that lawyers who will protect the ballot boxes and fight against unlawfulness, journalists who will inform the public, and politicians who are fighting the AKP in the field are being targeted simultaneously.

These attacks of the AKP are futile efforts that will never yield results. Our people, and all social segments whose will is threatened, will give the best response to these attacks through their votes in the elections.

Feleknas Uca & Hişyar Özsoy
HDP’s Co-spokespersons for Foreign Affairs
25 April 2023