30 suspects arrested in İzmir KCK operation
A Turkish court has arrested 30 out of 34 detainees in the Aegean province of İzmir on suspected links with the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella political organization for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist organization.
The 34 suspects, including officials from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), were detained in a major operation against the KCK last week. After questioning by police, they were referred to a court for further interrogation by prosecutors. Prosecutors released four of them and demanded that the court arrest the other 30. The court ruled for the arrest of all 30 suspects, who reportedly include senior KCK members responsible for the organization's activities in the Aegean region.
The KCK operation in İzmir comes as part of a major KCK investigation that started in December 2009. A large number of Kurdish politicians, including several mayors and officials from the pro-Kurdish BDP, have been detained in 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 territorial integrity. The BDP says the KCK investigation is the government's method of suppressing its politicians, denying any links between the suspects and any terrorist organization.