The "Conscience and Justice" march was underway on Sunday, when law
enforcement forces attacked participants with tear gas canisters and
rubber bullets, AFP reported.
The demonstrators demanded the release of HDP parliamentarians and journalists.
The HDP is Turkey’s second-largest opposition party after the
Republican People's Party (CHP). It has come under increasing pressure
since the government launched a crackdown on the outlawed anti-Ankara
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country’s southeast two years ago.
The party says thousands of its supporters have been arrested since the onset of the government campaign.
The government says it has killed thousands of the militants since
the launch of the operation. The HDP contests the claim, saying many of
the fatalities are civilians.
Ankara has also imposed bans and prison sentences on four of the
party’s parliamentarians, accusing them of links to “terror”
organizations, including the PKK. The party denies having any links with
the separatist militants.
The four legislators include the party’s co-leaders Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas.
The party is also critical of the administration’s ongoing sweeping
crackdown on the people it accuses of links to Fetullah Gulen. Ankara
says the US-based cleric masterminded a failed July 2016 coup against
Thousands have been either imprisoned or dismissed from their jobs
during the operations, in what is seen as, the authorities’ intolerance
of all dissent.