Five out of 12 Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) members in the southwestern province of Antalya who had been detained last week were arrested on Wednesday, the Sendika.org news portal reported.

The HDP members were detained following simultaneous raids in their residences as part of an investigation conducted by the Antalya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).

The detainees — Hogır Gürses, Murat Altundağ, Sevin Ağaoğlu, Tarık Altay, Aydın Benek, Azat Benek, Ferhat Keser, Vedat Güneş, Mehmet Bilen, Bilal Temiz, Emre Alpar, Serhat Keser — were referred to court on Wednesday where 5 of them were subsequently arrested while the remaining 7 were released pending trail.

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 Turkish courts in the past several months arrested 12 pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies including the party’s co-chairs.

 

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