Two leaders of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) were detained on Friday (4 November) along with several lawmakers, authorities said.
Selahattin Demirtas was detained at his home in Diyarbakir while Figen Yuksekdag, the co-chairperson of the party was held in capital Ankara for counter-terrorism investigations, Anadolu news agency reported.
The party's lawyers told Reuters that nine HDP MPs were also held, in a government crackdown following the failed July coup attempt. Police also raided southeastern cities of Van and Bingol along with the party's headquarters in Central Ankara. Reports on TV showed officials of the party clashing with police. Army vehicles and police cars had shut off the entrances to the street of the HDP head office.
An eyewitness told Reuters, a group of demonstrators tried to reach the party offices but were stopped by the police.
Demirtas and Yuksekdag have reportedly been probed several times over the last few months, but this is the first time that either of them has been detained. The detention took place after midnight, as Demirtas tweeted at 1.30am local time that police had arrived at his home and he was about to be arrested.
There were conflicting reports about the reason behind the detention with NTV saying that the two were accused of propaganda for the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), while Anadolu agency said Demirtas was blamed of inciting violence during the 2014 protests.
HDP is the third largest party in the Turkish parliament with 59 seats and is the primary political representative of Kurdish people. In a tweet, the party said: "HDP call international community to react against Erdogan Regime's coup."
Meanwhile, social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp were inaccessible in Turkey on Friday.