Turkey detains 90 for alleged links to Kurdish militants

90 people who were suspected to be linked to Kurdistan Workers Party were arrested by Turkish authorities. (AFP)
Updated 09 October 2018
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Turkey detains 90 for alleged links to Kurdish militants

  • Turkey has launched operations across eight provinces to prevent activities of PKK members
  • The identity of those detained was not immediately clear

ANKARA: Turkish authorities detained 90 people on Tuesday over suspected links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, the Interior Ministry said.
The operation across eight provinces was carried out to prevent the activities of PKK members and the operation was ongoing, the ministry said in a statement.
The identity of those detained in Tuesday’s operation was not immediately clear.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had said on Sunday that 140 of its members had been detained over the previous three days, and that the detentions were politically motivated.
Turkey’s government accuses the HDP of links to the PKK, which is designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Turkey and the European Union. The HDP denies such links.
The PKK has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984. Violence in the largely Kurdish southeast escalated after the collapse of a cease-fire in 2015.
Turkey has in recent months conducted regular strikes on PKK bases in northern Iraq, especially the insurgents’ stronghold in the Qandil mountains, where Ankara has also threatened to carry out a ground offensive.


Powerful Algerian party abandons beleaguered Bouteflika

Updated 2 min 34 sec ago
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Powerful Algerian party abandons beleaguered Bouteflika

  • The National Rally for Democracy has joined ruling party officials, unions and business tycoons who have abandoned Abdelaziz Bouteflika
  • ‘The candidacy of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a new term was a big mistake’
ALGIERS: An influential Algerian party that was a long-time supporter of Abdelaziz Bouteflika has criticized the ailing president for seeking to stay in power, another setback for the ruling elite in the face of mass demonstrations.
The National Rally for Democracy (RND), a member of the ruling coalition, has joined ruling party officials, unions and business tycoons who have abandoned Bouteflika in recent days, after nearly a month of street demonstrations protests.
“The candidacy of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a new term was a big mistake,” RND spokesman Seddik Chihab told El Bilad TV.
“Extra constitutional forces have seized power in the past few years and ruled state affairs outside a legal framework.”
Bouteflika, who has ruled for 20 years, bowed to the protesters last week by reversing plans to stand for a fifth term. But he stopped short of stepping down and said he would stay in office until a new constitution is adopted, effectively extending his present term.
His moves have done nothing to halt demonstrations, which peaked on Friday with hundreds of thousands of protesters on the streets of Algiers and have continued into this week.
RND leader Ahmed Ouyahia, a former prime minister who had close ties to intelligence agencies, has also switched sides. “The people’s demands should be met as soon as possible,” he told followers in a letter on Sunday.
Leaders have emerged from the protest movement, offering an alternative to Bouteflika’s political roadmap to what he says will be a new Algeria. But they have not built up enough momentum to force the president to quit or make more concessions.
The military, which wields enormous power from behind the scenes, has remained on the sidelines.
Another powerful figure, Bouteflika’s younger brother Said, has kept a low profile. The president has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke five years ago, and the protesters say a shadowy circle of aides, including Said, have been ruling the country in his name.
The protests continued on Tuesday, with students, university professors and health workers rallying in Algiers calling for Bouteflika to quit.
A new group headed by activists and opposition figures told the army not to interfere.
In the first direct public message to the generals from leaders emerging from the protests, the National Coordination for Change said the military should “play its constitutional role without interfering in the people’s choice.”