19:39 GMT11 August 2020
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    The detention of members of parliament from Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) “calls into question” the future of relations between Brussels and Ankara, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said Friday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, dozens of the HDP members, including its co-chairs Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, were arrested in raids carried out across the country.

    “The course of action by the [Turkish] Government calls into question the basis for the sustainable relationship between EU and Turkey and the commitment of the Turkish Government to democratic values and to its European aspirations,” Schulz said in a statement.

    He also added that detentions send “a chilling signal about the state of political pluralism in Turkey.”

    In May, the Turkish parliament voted to strip lawmakers of parliamentary immunity. Pro-Kurdish members of parliament said the law specifically targeted them because of their political views and would lead to deprivation of immunity and prosecution on alleged links to Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK), outlawed in Turkey.

    Tensions between Ankara and the Turkish Kurds escalated in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) collapsed over a series of terrorist attacks, allegedly committed by PKK members.

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    Turkey Arrests Co-Leaders of Main Kurdish Opposition Party
    Tags:
    arrest, Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), European Parliament, Martin Schulz, Turkey
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