Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Co-Chair Leyla Güven has been arrested by a Turkish court for comments critical of Turkish military operations in the Kurdish-controlled Afrin region of Syria, the Cumhuriyet daily reported.
Güven was put in pre-trial detention on Jan 31 on charges of aiding and supporting a terrorist organization.
Last week, the Turkish Armed Forces backed by armored vehicles, special forces and infantry regiments have advanced five kilometers inside Afrin, which is controlled by the PYD.
Since early Sunday morning, Turkish public prosecutor’s offices issued detention warrants for at least 41 people accross Turkey for criticizing the military operation.
Turkey views the PYD as the Syrian extension of the PKK.
Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians since 2016. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while hundreds of local Kurdish politicians have been arrested on terror charges.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office earlier on Sunday announced in a statement that investigations had been launched into individuals who have called on people to take to the streets to protest Turkey’s operations targeting Afrin.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday launched an investigation into pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies Ayhan Bilgen and Nadir Yıldırım for “incitement of hatred and hostility” through their critical messages on Twitter over Turkish military operation in Afrin.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday warned the HDP not to take to the streets to protest the operation in Afrin: “You are being closely followed. If you try to take to the streets, know that our security forces will be at your neck.”
“If anyone is in the streets upon calls [from the HDP], they will pay dearly for it. This is a national fight, and whoever opposes us will be crushed.” Erdoğan added.