Turkey issues detention warrants for 17 over criticism of military operation in Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-09 22:46:02|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ANKARA, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Turkish authorities on Friday issued detention warrants for 17 people including an opposition leader for their criticism of Turkey's ongoing military operation in Syria.

Serpil Kemalbay, co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), was charged with attempting to incite street protests and clashes in the disguise of opposing the Turkish military operation in Syria, the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office as saying.

Several of the 17 people were arrested earlier in the morning, but Kemalbay was still at large, the report added.

The HDP, the second largest opposition party in Turkish parliament, is scheduled to hold its annual congress in Ankara on Sunday, with its another co-chair Selahattin Demirtas in jail over alleged links to Kurdish militants.

The Hurriyet Daily News reported that some 500 HDP members have been detained in the last 10 days largely because of their opposition to the military operation in Syria.

On Jan. 20, the Turkish army launched "Operation Olive Branch" in a bid to remove the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG) militia from Syria's northwestern region of Afrin.

Turkey regards the YPG as a Syrian affiliate of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's southeast.