More than 100 people were detained early on Monday for suspected links to the terrorist Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) during operations carried out in 30 provinces across Turkey.
Among the premises raided on Monday were the offices of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Trade Union of Public Employees in Health and Social Services (SES) and the All Municipal and Local Administration Workers' Union (TÜM BEL-SEN), all in Ankara.
Ten people were detained by the Ankara Police Department's counterterrorism teams. Another 10 were also detained in Gaziantep on Monday as part of the KCK investigation, news reports said. The operations were conducted under the order of İstanbul Specially Authorized Prosecutor Bilal Bayraktar and Sadrettin Sarıkaya, who had been overseeing the investigation into KCK but who has been removed from the case in the wake of his attempt last week to summon Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT) undersecretary to testify as part of the probe.
Bayraktar stated that operations were carried out simultaneously in 30 provinces and that dozens of people were detained, 42 of whom were in İstanbul. Bayraktar added that police seized a handgun in İstanbul and a Kalashnikov rifle in Van province.
In operations carried out by the İzmir Police Department’s counterterrorism units, 11 people from the İzmir, Aydın, Antalya and Denizli provinces were detained on Monday. It was claimed that the suspects had been taking orders from the militia arm of the terrorist organization, located in the southeastern regions of Turkey bordering northern Iraq.
Mersin police detained six people and seized computers that had organizational documents belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). In addition, Van police detained five people, including Van Deputy Mayor Gülbahar Orhan. Another nine were detained in the predominantly Kurdish province of Diyarbakır.
The Batman Governor’s Office said in a statement released Monday that 24 people suspected of acting on the KCK’s orders were also detained in the province. The detainees are suspected of having thrown Molotov cocktails and participated in illegal demonstrations in the province.
A total of 35 people detained early Monday in simultaneous KCK operations in the Mediterranean province of Adana were sent to court Monday afternoon. Cihan stated that the 35 detainees, including 15 under 18 years of age and three women, had been interrogated by Adana police that morning. Furthermore, Şanlıurfa police detained three suspects in the early hours of Monday.
The investigation into the KCK, which prosecutors say is a group that controls the PKK and other affiliated groups, started in December 2009, and a large number of suspected KCK members, including several mayors from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), have been detained. The suspects are accused of various crimes, including membership in a terrorist organization, aiding and abetting a terrorist organization and attempting to destroy the country’s unity and integrity. BDP officials say the investigation is the government’s way of suppressing BDP politicians, denying any links between the suspects and any terrorist organization.
In a similar development, the Mersin Police Department’s counterterrorism unit seized 27 homemade explosives at an address in Mersin on Monday.
In a separate incident in Mersin’s Toroslar district on Sunday, 18-year-old R.T. lost his fingers when he failed to throw a homemade bomb at a passing police cruiser before it went off. The young man was taken to Toroslar State Hospital for treatment.