January 18, 2013

More Political Repression In Turkey: Grup Yorum And Legal Workers Detained

The following came today from combined Turkish sources:

Reinforced by anti-terror and special operations teams, police forces in Ankara, İzmir and Istanbul provinces raided dozens of apartments and workplaces this morning. These included the offices of the Contemporary Lawyers Association and the People's Law Office which provide legal support for victims in Turkey's major contemporary human rights abuse cases.

Those arrested will be transferred to anti-terror police headquarters in Istanbul.

The majority of detainees are human rights advocates who volunteered at an emergency call line to report police torture, ran workshops on how to act under police detention or advocated in Turkey's most controversial recent human rights abuse incidents, including the Roboski Massacre.

Among the detainees were five members of the Turkish protest band Grup Yorum after a police raid assisted with helicopters and tear gas bombs. Witnesses said the police damaged some of musicians' instruments.

Band members Selma Altın, Dilan Balcı, Ali Aracı, İnan Altın and Caner Bozkurt were among the 85 people arrested in the operation as well as 15 lawyers, of which nine were reportedly members of the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD).

Selma Altın and Dilan Balcı have already been under house arrest since Sept. 14.

Some of those arrested are alleged to be members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). The DHKP-C is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

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