Pro-PKK People's Democratic Party (HDP)'s co-chairs of Istanbul's Esenyurt district branch were detained for the second time on late Monday on terrorism-related charges.
An operation was launched by security forces after posters of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan as well as material for terrorist propaganda were found in the HDP's Esenyurt headquarters.
After the incident, the co-chairs of the district, Ercan Sağlam and Dilan Kılıç, were detained, and a raid was carried out on the party headquarters.
Following the investigation, posters and photos of Öcalan, 1,000 terrorist propaganda posters, magazines, books, DVDs, hard disks and laptops were found.
Although they were released on late Sunday after their testimonies were taken by security forces, Sağlam and Kılıç have been detained once again, this time on the charge of being a member of a terrorist group.
The Ihlas News Agency (IHA) reported that Sağlam and Kılıç's houses were also searched following their second detention.
The inquiry into the HDP co-chairs continues.
“In none of the world’s democratic countries can this be allowed,” Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu tweeted on Sunday together with a video showing the inside of the HDP building and the terror propaganda material seized.
He stated that the abuse of democracy is always possible and criticized Western countries for demanding that Turkey tolerate terrorist acts while they themselves would not allow such incidents.
23 Ocak 2021
Esenyurt HDP binası
Demokrasinin istismarı her daim mümkündür..
AİHM kararları, Venedik kriterleri vs..
Batı istismara müsaade etmiyor,
Ancak bizden istiyor.
Dünyanın hiçbir demokratik ülkesinde buna müsaade edilmez... pic.twitter.com/2DukbLyHSI— Süleyman Soylu | Maske Mesafe↔️ Temizlik (@suleymansoylu) January 24, 2021
Öcalan, who founded the PKK in 1978, was arrested in 1999 due to his role in the terrorist group's decadeslong campaign against the Turkish state, which led to the deaths of more than 40,000 people.
The HDP has many times drawn ire for transferring taxpayer money and funds to the PKK, a globally recognized terrorist group. HDP mayors and local officials have been found to misuse funds in support of the PKK terrorist group and provide jobs to PKK sympathizers.
Speaking on the issue, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun tweeted on the same day: “Once again we see that HDP means PKK. What will those that form alliances with the HDP say in the face of this footage?”
HDP mayors have also been accused of undermining municipal services, allowing the PKK to dig ditches in the streets and launch attacks on police and soldiers when the terrorist group adopted an urban warfare strategy in July 2015 and ended a two-year reconciliation period. HDP municipalities and their staff were also found to be actively participating in terrorist attacks launched after July 2015.
The party is also being accused of providing recruits to the terrorist organization by deceiving young people to join its ranks.