28 detained in anti-KCK operations across Turkey

May 08, 2012, Tuesday/ 10:04:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

The police detained 28 suspects in simultaneous operations in six provinces early on Tuesday as part of a probe into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella political organization for all groups related to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

According to information the National Police Department shared with the press, police raided several locations in Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, İstanbul, Eskişehir, Muş and Ankara, and took 28 people into custody for their alleged links to the terrorist organization.

Teams from the Şanlıurfa Police Department's antiterrorism unit raided the Peace and Democracy Party's (BDP) Politics Academy -- which offers lessons that the BDP says seek to train younger members in politics -- the Kurdish Language Research and Development Association (Kurdi-Der) building and the BDP's Ceylanpınar district office early on Tuesday. The police seized many illegal publications, hard disks and some PKK-related documents in the raids. The police detained BDP Şanlıurfa branch head Fatma İzol and her assistant, Mehmet Vural.

In the raids in Eskişehir, the police detained former BDP Eskişehir branch head Yusuf Karataş. Many suspicious documents and publications were seized during the raid of Karataş's house. Karataş will be transferred to the Şanlıurfa Police Department for his interrogation. Karataş was also detained two years ago after a clash occurred between a BDP group and police in Eskişehir. The BDP group attacked police during a demonstration, and 21 suspects were detained after the attack. Karataş was accused of organizing the attack.

In a similar development, anti-terror units conducted an operation against the KCK's women's branches in Van province on Tuesday. Thirteen women were detained in the operation. Seven out of the 13 suspects were arrested after their interrogations. The women were detained on charges of aiding and abetting the KCK terrorist organization.

The KCK investigation began in December 2009, and a large number of Kurdish politicians, 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 integrity. BDP officials have said the investigation is the government's method of suppressing BDP politicians, denying any links between the suspects and any terrorist organizations.

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