A Turkish prosecutor issued a detention warrant for Serpil Kemalbay, co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP), according to Turkish media reports on Tuesday.
In addition to Kemalbay, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also issued warrants for 16 others on the grounds that they criticized a Turkish military incursion in northern Syria.
The Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin against the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey sees as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have reacted strongly to people who oppose the operation, and prosecutor’s offices have initiated investigations into people who share social media messages critical of the operation.
Earlier this week Turkish police teams detained 31 HDP and Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) officials in raids on their homes in İstanbul.
Former HDP Co-chairpersons Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ as well as several other deputies and dozens of party members are currently in jail on terror charges. The party will hold its third general party congress on Sunday and elect its new co-chairpersons.