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Senior Pro-Kurdish Party Leader Briefly Detained in Turkey

  • Associated Press

FILE - Pro-Kurdish politicians of Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Pervin Buldan (left) Sirri Sureyya Onder (center) and Idris Baluken attend a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, June 12, 2015. Buldan was detained briefly by Turkish police.

Turkish police Friday briefly detained a deputy speaker of parliament, forcibly taking her to a court to testify in an on-going case in which she is accused of making propaganda in support of outlawed Kurdish rebels.

Pervin Buldan, a senior legislator from the Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), later told reporters waiting outside the courthouse that she was released after telling court officials that she would not testify in the “politically motivated’’ case.

Turkey’s government accuses the HDP, the nation’s third-largest party, of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is considered a terror organization by Turkey and its western allies. The HDP rejects the accusation.

In May, parliament voted to strip lawmakers of their legal immunity, paving the way for the arrests of HDP legislators. A total of 12 HDP legislators have been jailed on terrorism-related charges since then, including co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said Buldan was called to provide additional testimony over a case where she is accused of “praising a crime and a criminal” as well as engaging in “propaganda in favor of a terror organization.”