Police detain 20 for alleged links to terrorist KCK

May 15, 2012, Tuesday/ 10:56:00

The İstanbul Police Department's Counterterrorism Unit has detained 20 people for alleged links to the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella political organization that includes the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), early on Tuesday.

Counterterrorism units conducted simultaneous operations in the Avcılar, Beylikdüzü and Esenyurt districts of İstanbul and took 20 people into custody. The detainees are accused of being members of the KCK's youth branch, the Democratic Patriotic Youth Council (DYGM).

The suspects were first taken to the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) for a mandatory health check and then taken to a police station in İstanbul's Fatih district.

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