Detained for two times over the past week as part of the government crackdown against Turkey’s Kurdish political movement, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) spokesperson and Kars deputy Ayhan Bilgen was arrested on Tuesday.
Bilgen is accused of membership to a terrorist organization. His arrest brought the total number of HDP deputies under custody up to 12.
Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians in recent months. 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.
Meanwhile, Bilgen’s lawyer Mehmet Emin Aktar said pro-government media outlets reported the arrest even before the court decision was made, hinting at a politically-motivated ruling.