Former HDP co-chair Serpil Kemalbay sits between new co-chairs Pervin Buldan (L) and Sezai Temelli (R) at the party’s congress on Sunday. Photo: Adem Altan/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Former HDP co-chair Serpil Kemalbay has been detained by police in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Tuesday, Turkish media has reported.
Last week, an arrest warrant was issued for Kemalbay and 16 others on charges of opposing Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch on the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.
The door to Kemalbay's house was forced open and her home was raided, Pervin Buldan, new HDP co-chair stated. A few hours later, she was taken into custody.
"If the AKP treats members of HDP in a particular way, then AKP should know that these individuals have conquered fear," said Buldan.
Kemalbay was taken into custody by the anti-terror branch of Ankara’s police, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Kemalbay was elected co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition party HDP in May 2017 to replace Figen Yuksekdag who was stripped of her party membership by a court decision after a conviction on terror charges.
The other co-chair, Selahattin Demirtas, is also imprisoned on terror charges and announced in January that he would step down.
The party elected two new co-chairs at its congress on Sunday. They are Pervin Buldan, a Kurd, and Sezai Temelli, a Turk.
One day later, Turkey’s chief prosecutor announced it was investigating Buldan and another HPD deputy Sirri Sureyya Onder for terror charges.
Nine pro-Kurdish HDP MPs are currently in jail on terror-related charges. Ankara alleges the party has ties with the PKK, a named terror group. HDP denies the charge.
Updated at 6:32 pm