İstanbul police detain 11 in operations into KCK network

İstanbul police detain 11 in operations into KCK network

A suspect in the KCK investigation is escorted to a police vehicle after being detained along with 10 others on Tuesday.

February 21, 2012, Tuesday/ 16:11:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

İstanbul Police Department counterterrorism units detained 11 people on Tuesday on suspected links to the terrorist Kurdish Communities Union (KCK).

Following simultaneous KCK operations conducted by the İstanbul police last week, in which 42 people were detained, 11 more were detained when police on Tuesday raided 15 locations in various parts of the metropolitan area. Police seized organizational documents belonging to the terrorist group and materials used to make Molotov cocktails.

One hundred eighty people detained in 40 provinces last week have been released over the past few days. Many of the operations were conducted in Turkey's three largest provinces; İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir. İstanbul Specially Authorized prosecutors stated last week that suspects were detained for alleged links to the terrorist KCK. Among the premises raided 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.

In a related development, deputies from Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) on Monday began a two-day hunger strike in protest of recently stepped-up police operations against the terrorist KCK. BDP Co-chairwomen Gülten Kışanak held a press conference at BDP headquarters in Ankara on Monday, announcing that BDP deputies would go on a hunger strike for two days. She recalled that some deputies from the BDP are under arrest as a part of the investigation into the KCK, which prosecutors say is an umbrella political organization that includes the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The investigation began in December 2009 and a large number of suspected KCK members, including several mayors from the 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 territorial 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.

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