ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Police in Turkey carried out raids on homes in 21 provinces on Tuesday, detaining some 110 people for alleged links to Kurdish militants, the country’s state-run news agency reported.
The raids, which come weeks ahead of Turkey’s May 14 parliamentary and presidential elections, targeted politicians, journalists, lawyers and human rights activists, Tayip Temel, a deputy leader of the country’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, or HDP, wrote on Twitter.
“On the eve of the election, the government has resorted once again to detentions out of fear of losing power,” Temel tweeted.
The detained are suspected of financing the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, of recruiting members or of engaging in propaganda on behalf of the group, Anadolu Agency reported. The group, which has led a decades-long insurgency in Turkey, is considered a terror organization by the United States and the European Union.
The pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya agency reported that one of its editors and a journalist were among those detained.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking a third presidential term, faces the toughest electoral test of his 20-year rule. Opinion polls have given a united opposition candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a slight lead over the strongman politician.
The HDP has extended its tacit support to Kilicdaroglu by deciding not to field its own candidate in the presidential race.