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Iran Press TV

Turkish authorities detain two female pro-Kurdish lawmakers

Iran Press TV

Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:41PM

Turkish authorities have arrested two pro-Kurdish lawmakers for alleged links to Kurdish militants.

Caglar Demirel, representing the largest Kurdish-populated city of Diyarbakir, and Besime Konca, from the city of Siirt, were arrested on Tuesday. They are both with the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, also known as the HDP.

In a message posted on Twitter, the HDP said, "Head of the party's parliamentary group, Caglar Demirel, and Siirt MP, Besime Konca, were unlawfully detained in front of our (Ankara) headquarters."

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said that two women were held as part of an anti-terror investigation.

The country's Dogan news agency said Konca was taken to court in the southeastern province of Batman, where she was released under "judicial control."

The agency said an investigation had been launched into the lawmaker after she allegedly spoke at the funeral of a man killed during security operations against Kurdish militants in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.

Reacting to the latest arrests, Cabbar Leygara, who is the co-president of the HDP in Diyarbakir, said Kurdish people wanted to be a part of peaceful parliamentary politics, adding, "We want democracy to win in Turkey."

In May, the Turkish parliament adopted a bill that lifted immunity for dozens of lawmakers, which government critics feared would see HDP lawmakers face criminal prosecution and lose parliamentary seats.

On Monday, nearly 240 people were also arrested for similar charges.

Turkey's Interior Ministry said the detentions were made in 11 provinces, adding that the 235 people were held on charges of "spreading terror group propaganda" over social media and acting on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Among those arrested were nearly 120 officials of the HDP, the second-largest opposition party in the Turkish parliament.

The main leaders of the HDP have already been jailed pending trial over alleged ties to the PKK. Ankara accuses the HDP of acting as the PKK's political arm.

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