The Latest: Turkey detains 568 for alleged Kurdish ties

AP News
Posted: Dec 13, 2016 10:31 AM
The Latest: Turkey detains 568 for alleged Kurdish ties

ISTANBUL (AP) — The Latest on Turkey's investigation into a deadly weekend attack near a soccer stadium in Istanbul. (all times local):

6:28 p.m.

Turkey's Interior Ministry says 568 people have been detained on account of their alleged affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

The PKK and the Turkish state have been locked in conflict for decades. Ankara and Western governments consider it a terrorist organization. The detentions coincide with a broader crackdown that has taken a toll on government opponents of many different ideological inclinations.

Lawmakers and members of a pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) have been a focal point of the latest wave of arrests. HDP representative Pervin Buldan says "the place for (our) deputies is not a prison, but the Parliament."

Turkey has been under a state of emergency since a July 15 failed coup attempt. An emergency decree has increased pre-trial detention in Turkey from four to 30 days.


5:50 p.m.

Turkey's interior ministry says 568 suspects have been taken into custody over alleged links to a Kurdish movement labelled as a terrorist organization in the country.

The ministry issued a statement Tuesday saying two days of operations spanned 28 cities. The arrests come in the wake of twin bombings Saturday night near a soccer stadium in Istanbul that killed 44 people, mostly police, and wounded scores of others.

It was not clear if the number of detentions announced Tuesday included the 235 people that Turkey rounded up on Monday.


12:30 p.m.

Turkey's police on Tuesday continued to detain members of a pro-Kurdish political party in the wake of deadly suicide bombing.

State-run Anadolu Agency reported that two lawmakers of the Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, have been taken into custody in Ankara, the capital.

The report said they were taken into custody within the scope of two separate terror-related investigations in the southeastern cities of Batman and Diyarbakir.

Widespread detentions of HDP officials by the Turkish security forces have taken place following a Saturday bombing near an Istanbul soccer stadium that killed at least 44 people and wounded 149. The attack was claimed by Turkey-based Kurdish militant group, the Kurdish Freedom Falcons.

The private Dogan news agency, meanwhile, reported that 8 HDP officials would stand trial on terror charges.

Turkish authorities, in a charge led by the president, accuse the HDP of supporting terrorism and having ties to the armed Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK.

The PKK has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state and violence between the two resumed last year after the collapse of peace talks.

Turkey and Western governments brand the PKK a terrorist organization. The HDP insists it is separate and spoken out against attacks in Turkey.

The political party has been one of the focal points of a wider security crackdown in the wake of a failed July 15 coup attempt.