Turkey arrests 33 pro-Kurdish party members including regional chief

Turkish police have detained 33 people, including politicians of pro-Kurdish parties, over terrorism charges in an operation in Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep on Tuesday, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Police raided the homes of the politicians in the early hours of Tuesday, Anadolu said, detaining many of them, including the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)'s provincial chief and two district heads, and the local head of the HDP's sister group, the Democratic Regions Party (DBP).

The Turkish government has accused the HDP of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). A 2018 report showed that almost one-third of the HDP’s members had been detained since a peace process between Turkey and the PKK collapsed in 2015.

Human rights groups say the government uses vague and spurious allegations of terrorism in order to remove or imprison democratically elected HDP mayors.