Turkey intensifies crackdown on pro-Kurdish HDP in 2020

Turkish government detained 20 thousand pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HDP) members and arrested 10 thousand of them over a span of 4 years, Turkey’s opposition HDP said in a report it released.

The report underlined that the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) administration steered court orders in defiance of the opposition.

According to the report, more than one thousand HDP members and administrators were detained this year, 172 of them were arrested.

On Monday a Turkish court sentenced prominent Kurdish politician Leyla Güven to 22 years and 3 months in prison. The Turkish parliament had ealier lifted Güven’s parliamentary immunity.

Kurdish mayors’ removal which started on August, 19 in 2019 has persisted in 2020. 37 HDP co-mayors  were arrested, and the government appointed trustees to 48 HDP municipalities. Currently, 17 HDP co-mayors are still detained, the report said.

The European Court of Human Rights last week called on Turkey to immediately release Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş.

The years-long detention of the former co-chair of the HDP was a cover for limiting pluralism and political debate in the country, the court said.