Turkey detains over 700 over alleged terror links

Over 700 people have detained following police raids conducted across 40 Turkish provinces in the aftermath of the killings of 13 Turkish citizens in northern Iraq over the weekend.

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) officials are among those taken into police custody following operations targeting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) domestic activities, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday.

According to Turkish authorities, 13 Turkish citizens that have been kept hostage by the PKK, since their abduction in 2015 and 2016, were found shot dead by the group in a cave in Gara region of northern Iraq on Saturday.

Ten of the victims were military and police personnel, while two of the victims were registered as civilians and one of them has yet to be identified, Turkish authorities announced.

“Numerous weapons, organizational documents and digital materials were also seized during the searches conducted in the houses and workplaces of the detainees,” the ministry said.

Turkish government accuses HDP, the third largest political party in the parliament, of having links to PKK, which has led to the prosecutions of thousands of party members and some leaders. The HDP denies the links.

The PKK, an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for Kurdish self-rule for almost 40 years, is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.