BREAKING: NATO Member Turkey Descends into Autocracy as Kurdish Lawmakers Arrested, Internet Apps Blocked
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once identified by President Obama as one of his top five closest international leader friends, famously said: "Democracy is a like a train: you get off once you've reached your destination."
Grave reports are emerging from NATO member Turkey tonight that Erdogan is getting the country off the democracy train. Kurdish lawmakers have been arrested and Internet social media applications are being blocked by the Turkish government, in an escalating crackdown that Erdogan has waged since a botched coup attempt this past July.
Turkey appears to be arresting all the HDP MPs, third-largest party in parliament. This is it, people.
— Nate Schenkkan (@nateschenkkan) November 3, 2016
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) November 4, 2016
Number of HDP MPs that are detained is increasing rapidly. Here is the most recent confirmed list pic.twitter.com/00l5gDez63
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) November 3, 2016
— ilhan tanir (@WashingtonPoint) November 3, 2016
Turkey detained two co-leaders and nine other lawmakers of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) early on Friday over reluctance to give testimony for crimes linked to "terrorist propaganda."
The Turkish Interior Ministry said detention orders for 13 MPs were issued, but only 11 were detained as two lawmakers were abroad. Lawyers had earlier said 15 MPs were detained.
Turkish police raided the Ankara house of co-leader Selahattin Demirtas and the house of co-leader Figen Yuksekdag in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast, the party's lawyers told Reuters.
"HDP call international community to react against Erdogan Regime's coup," the party said on Twitter, referring to President Tayyip Erdogan.
Police also raided and searched the party's head office in central Ankara. Television images showed party officials quarreling with police during the raid, and a Reuters witness said many police cars and armed vehicles had closed the entrances to the street of the HDP headquarters [...]
HDP is the third largest party in the 550-seat Turkish parliament, with 59 seats. Parliamentarians in Turkey normally enjoy immunity from prosecution, but the pro-Kurdish party's immunity was lifted earlier this year.
Arrests have been widespread since the July attempted coup, with the Erdogan regime imprisoning opponents, banning rallies, taking over media outlets, and sacking non-Islamist government employees by the thousands.
Just a few days ago, the State Department ordered families and dependents to leave the country.
citing security threats.
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) October 29, 2016
The ostensible reason was increased fears of possible terrorism, but Erdogan has been ramping up the crackdown over the past week.
— OSAC (@OSACState) October 28, 2016
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) October 30, 2016
— Ceylan Yeginsu (@CeylanWrites) October 31, 2016