Turkey: 235 people arrested over 'Kurdish militant propaganda', Turkish Interior Ministry says

Officials from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) detained on suspicion of belonging to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)

Monday 12 December 2016 12:32
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Turkish police officers carry the coffins of comrades during a funeral cerenomy at Istanbul's police headquarters
Turkish police officers carry the coffins of comrades during a funeral cerenomy at Istanbul's police headquarters

At least 235 people have been arrested across Turkey on terror charges, following a bomb attack near a football stadium in Istanbul, according to the Interior Ministry.

Officials from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) were arrested on suspicion of belonging to or producing propaganda for the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) – an organisation that is outlawed in Turkey.

HDP’s Ankara chief, Ibrahim Binici, and the party’s head in Istanbul, Aysel Guzel, were among those arrested, according to the state news agency Anadolu.

The news comes after two blasts killed 44 people in Istanbul.

The attacks took place near the Vodafone Arena, home to Istanbul's Besiktas soccer team, two hours after a match. The first blast was a bomb outside the stadium, followed within a minute by a suicide bomb attack in a nearby park.

Health Minister Recep Akdag said most of the people killed were policemen.

"It is very painful that we lost 36 of our police officers and eight civilians in a bloody attack," he said, Dogan News Agency reported.

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a radical offshoot of the PKK, took responsibility for the attacks.

TAK is considered a terrorist organisation by Ankara, Brussels and Washington and the group has been waging an insurgency against Turkey since 1984.

After the collapse of a ceasefire last year Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu vowed to “wipe out” the PKK.

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