Turkish Police Arrest 35 for Suspected Kurdish Rebel Links

Posted December 20th, 2011 at 10:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Turkish police have arrested at least 35 people, including some journalists, for their alleged involvement with the Kurdistan Communities Union , which is believed to have links to the Kurdish rebel group, the PKK.

Police officials said Tuesday that simultaneous raids were conducted in Istanbul and six other cities across the country. Those arrested were accused of being part of the KCK's “press and propaganda'' group.

Turkish state media said the latest arrests are part of an investigation that has resulted in the arrest of hundreds of alleged KCK members. But the detentions are likely to increase concerns about press freedoms in Turkey. The United States and the European Union have criticized Turkey over the issue and have called for the country to revise its anti-terrorism laws.

The PKK, or Kurdistan Workers' Party, has waged a campaign for autonomy in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast since 1984. The fighting has killed more than 40,000 people.

Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist group.

Turkey's government has cracked down on anyone suspected of belonging to or collaborating with the PKK, saying the group is a growing threat. The military has launched a series of attacks against PKK bases along the country's border with Iraq.