Turkish police on Tuesday detained 21 people in the southeastern province of Mardin as part of an operation against the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella political organization for all groups related to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Counterterrorism units launched an operation early on Tuesday in the Nusaybin and Kızıltepe districts of Mardin as well as Mardin's city center. A total of 21 people, including officials from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) were detained during the operation.
Turkish police have recently stepped up operations against the KCK. The KCK investigation started in December 2009 and a large number of Kurdish politicians, including several mayors and officials from the BDP, have been detained as part of the case.
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. The suspects include mayors and municipal officials from the BDP, which has said the investigation is the government's method of suppressing its politicians, denying any links between the suspects and any terrorist organizations.