Turkey Orders Dozens of Arrests Over 2014 Kobani Protests
Turkey has ordered the arrest of over 80 citizens, including pro-Kurdish opposition party leaders, due to their alleged involvement in protests from 2014 against the siege by Islamic State militias of the Syrian Kurdish border town Kobani. The government accused PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) members of inviting the public to “carry out terror acts,” adding that the pro-Kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) supported these calls for violence. The HDP, parliament’s third-largest party, vehemently denied this. Turkish media is reporting that arrest warrants were issued for HDP members including former parliamentarians and that some have already been detained. In October 2014, people in Turkey’s southeast Kurdish regions took to the streets in violent protests against the Turkish army. They blamed the army for not interfering against the Islamic State forces attacking Kobani, which is adjacent to the Turkish border in Syria. By the end of the protests, 37 people were dead.