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Pro-Kurdish MP detained as Turkish cops break up protest

Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP Dersim Dag and her two advisors were briefly detained when police stopped a public demonstration on Monday, Gazete Duvar news website reported.

Police officers refused to allow a march that denounced war and demanded peace through democratic means in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish regions to take place.

During the intervention in the demonstration, police encircled a crowd of protesters that included HDP MPs Saliha Aydeniz, Musa Farisogulları, Semra Guzel, Remziye Tosun and Dag, in front of the party’s Kayapinar district building.

While pro-Kurdish MPs’ attempts at mediation remained inconclusive, police officers detained Dag’s two advisors and shut the doors of their vehicle on her in the crackdown as she tried to prevent her advisors’ detention.

HDP MP Aydeniz, who also went up to the police vehicle to understand why the advisors were being detained, was reportedly battered by a policeman from the anti-terror branch and made to get off by force.

MP Dag announced her nearly one-hour long detention in the police vehicle on her official Twitter page.

“I’m currently being detained in a police vehicle and they don’t let me get out of it. Two of our advisor friends are also detained along with me,” Dag said.

After Dag and the two advisors were allowed to leave the vehicle, they made a public statement in front of the party building together with other protesters and HDP MPs.

“We made our statement with the people [of Kayapinar] in spite of those who violently attacked our protest and kept me and two advisors in a detention vehicle for almost an hour. This fascist mentality is doomed and close to losing,” she further emphasized in a tweet.

MP Aydeniz also pointed out that they wanted to stage the march in order to express how democracy and peace should be built.

“A member of the parliament being beaten in front of cameras is the indication of an order. Those who are attacking us today should know that those whom they rely upon will be called to account before the judiciary. Peace will prevail,” Aydeniz underlined.

The Turkish government accuses HDP of being linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group regarded as a terrorist organization by Ankara.

Even though HDP denies the allegations, former co-chair Selahattin Demirtas and some other party seniors have been in prison on charges that include managing a terrorist organization.

More than 40,000 people have died in clashes between Turkish security forces and the PKK since the latter launched a separatist insurgency in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast in 1984.

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