Dozens of district headquarters of the HDP in Istanbul have been raided by police. Banners and information material on the hunger strike of political prisoners in Turkey were confiscated.
Turkish police have stormed the buildings of at least 15 district associations of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in Istanbul and confiscated banners concerning the hunger strike of political prisoners. According to initial information, HDP headquarters in the districts of Bağcılar, Ümraniye, Sancaktepe, Esenyurt, Beylikdüzü, Sultangazi, Beyoğlu, Kağıthane, Gaziosmanpaşa, Esenler, Üsküdar, Kartal, Maltepe, Güngören and Şişli were targeted by the police on Wednesday.
Brochures calling for a hunger strike rally on Thursday were also confiscated during the raids. The co-chairs of the district associations have been taken to local police headquarters for testimony.
Commenting on the raids, Erdal Avcı, co-chair of the HDP Istanbul branch, said: "A political party can of course put up banners at its headquarters. If investigations are underway, those concerned can be heard. A court order is required to enter and search our premises and to seize banners. The prosecutorial order for the raids and their implementation by the police impede our activities as a political party. We condemn this."
Avcı pointed out that the raids took place just before tomorrow's planned rally in Kadıköy: "We will make a statement tomorrow as planned and we will hang banners at all district associations."