Turkish security forces on Friday arrested more than a dozen of suspects over their links to the 2014 terror incidents in which 37 people were killed and many wounded, including security personnel.
Earlier the same day, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 82 people for their suspected links to the bloody events that unfolded in 2014.
So far, at least 18 people have been arrested by security officials upon instructions of judicial authorities. Among those arrested are
Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Kars mayor Ayhan Bilgen and former HDP lawmakers Sirri Sureyya Onder, Ayla Akat Ata, Altan Tan, Nazmi Gur, Emine Beyza Ustun and Emine Ayna.
The 2014 violent incidents happened when demonstrators took to the streets, incited by the HDP, a group the government accuses of links to the terrorist PKK.
With the excuse of Daesh/ISIS attacking Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), a Syrian city near Turkey’s border, the HDP incited violence between supporters of the PKK and the Kurdish Islamist party Huda-Par.
Prosecutors in the capital Ankara said in a written statement that many actors, including PKK terrorist ringleaders and urban agents and HDP members and co-chairs, called on people to take to the streets and commit acts of terrorism.
The statement said during the protests, roads were blocked and many public buildings, civilian vehicles, and homes were damaged with rifles, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks.
According to a statement by Turkish Interior Ministry, the bloody events of 2014 claimed 37 lives and injured 761 people, including 326 law enforcement officials. The material loss is estimated at billions of Turkish liras, the statement said, adding nearly 200 schools were burned down, 268 public buildings destroyed and over a thousand vehicles damaged.
The warrants seek suspects in seven provinces, the statement added.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
* Writing by Ali Murat Alhas