Both co-chairs of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP were arrested late at night Thursday.
Kurds from over a dozen countries across Europe, in Turkey and in Syria marched Saturday to decry the arrest of the co-chairs and other members of the pro-Kurdish HDP, Turkey’s third-largest party. The demonstrators, many of them refugees from state violence, also held flags of the imprisoned Marxist PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, of Che Guevarra and of other key figures in Kurdish politics.
The rally in Istanbul was met with water cannons and riot police, as HDP leaders denounced the arrests in the largest Kurdish city in Turkey’s southeast, Diyarbakir. Kurdish politician Leyla Guven said, “We know that the TV is spreading lies, saying that Kurds are not united and that they do not support their representatives. We know that the heart of all Amed (Diyarbakir) people is with us. Kurds rise up everywhere all around the world today. We will never bow down. We can pay further prices if need be. I may not be here tomorrow, but I know that you will be here.”