Tensions flared as Turkey’ pro-Kurdish Green Left Party (YSP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) attempted to hold a press conference addressing recent detentions.Police prevented the conference and detained around 10 individuals, as well as physically assaulting journalists

Turkish police have attacked members of the pro-Kurdish Green Left Party (YSP) and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), who attempted to hold a press conference in front of their joint party building in Beyoğlu, Istanbul.

The press conference was intended to address the recent detention of at least 20 individuals, including HDP members.

Prior to the scheduled gathering, dozens of police officers and vehicles cordoned off the area around the party building. Police officers informed HDP’s Co-Chairs for Istanbul, Ilknur Birol and Murat Kalmaz, that they would not allow the press conference to take place under any circumstances.

Dozens of people insisted on reading a statement declaring: “HDP is not a tool for your operations to manage appearances. We persist in democratic politics.” The protestors were forcibly detained by the police as they exited the party building. Throughout, the crowd chanted slogans such as “Pressure cannot break us” and “HDP is hope, standing tall in the struggle.”

Several journalists attempting to document the police intervention were also subjected to physical assault by the police and forcibly removed from the vicinity of the party building. Subsequently, approximately 10 individuals were detained by the police.

Following the police blockade around the party building, the crowd vocally expressed their outrage over the additional detentions, and called for an end to the police siege by staging a sit-in protest both inside and outside the party building. The sit-in is continuing at the time of reporting, with party members stating they were united in determination to convey a message of democratic resilience.