ANKARA (BBC) — The two co-leaders of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition party have been detained along with other MPs.
Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag were detained at their respective homes as part of a counter-terrorism inquiry, security sources quoted by Anadolu news agency said. At least nine other MPs from the People’s Democracy Party (HDP) were also taken into custody.
Meanwhile social networks could not be accessed from inside Turkey. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp were reported to be inaccessible shortly after the detentions, even when users tried to circumvent restrictions using a virtual private network (VPN). Mr Demirtas had tweeted about his arrest before the sites were restricted.
The raids took place on Thursday night in several Turkish cities.
Another MP from the party who is currently abroad, Ertugrul Kurkcu, told the BBC that the detentions were “totally unlawful”.
He said: “This crackdown tonight is nothing to do with procedural law, criminal law, any law whatsoever or the constitution. This is an unlawful hijacking of HDP parliamentarians.
“The Turkish government is heading towards a dictatorship of Nazi style.
“Will the Turkish government abide by the internationally accepted standards of parliamentary democracy? This is the basic question.”
Last month, the co-mayors of Turkey’s largest Kurdish-majority city were detained, also as part of a terrorism investigation.