The counter-terrorism branch of the Istanbul Police Department on Friday launched a wide-ranging operation on predetermined suspected addresses in several districts, leading to the detention of four district heads of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
A number of weapons were seized, and 44 people suspected of being affiliated with the PKK terror organization were also detained during the operation.
Although the PKK terrorist group and the HDP do not officially have ties, the PKK strongly supports the HDP. HDP Deputy Abdullah Zeydan made provocative statements and threatened Turkey in late July, saying that the PKK terrorist organization has the power to "suffocate Turkey with its spit."
The operation, which was supported by special task forces, covered 28 districts of Istanbul, including Sultangazi, Bağcılar, Esenyurt and Başakşehir.
In another incident showing the relationship between the two groups, Turkish security forces on Sept. 7 detained nine people, including Şafak Özanlı, a HDP deputy from Kars, for transporting food and other supplies to the PKK.
The PKK utilizes a political style that instills fear and uses force, including kidnapping people, attacking ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) members and threatening people in Kurdish-dominated regions in eastern provinces, to influence voters to vote for the HDP.
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