On Friday morning, four people, including Kurdish musician Sarya Ertaş, were detained in house raids in Turkey’s largest Kurdish-majority province Diyarbakır (Amed) in South East Turkey, over unspecified charges.
While the number of detentions increased to eight in the raids that continued in the following hours, the Mezopotamya Agency reported arrest warrants were issued for 30 people.
The province’s chief public prosecutor did not inform the lawyers about the arrests because of a confidentiality clause in the investigation file.
Mezopotamya News reported late on Friday that the detentions were likely linked to protests over a cultural festival organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Diyarbakır’s historical Sur district, which was largely evacuated by local inhabitants after a Turkish military operation in 2015 that left an estimated 4,985 buildings destroyed.
The number of detentions is expected to rise as the eight detainees continue to be held at the Diyarbakır Provincial Security Directorate.
Detained musician Sarya Ertaş is the daughter of Kurdish artist İbrahim Ertaş from Mardin, known as Dengbej Axîn Biro, who was arrested in November 2015 and sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison on terrorism charges.
Ertaş told Hakkari Objective News in 2019 that she took refuge in music more after her father, who is also her biggest supporter, was arrested.