Turkish police detain more than 500 people in operations targeting PKK



Turkish police detained more than 500 people on Monday in operations across Turkey targeting suspects linked with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

It said senior members of the group were among the 544 suspects held in operations across 25 provinces, including the major western cities of Istanbul and Izmir.

Officials from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) were among the 45 detained in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, the provincial governor's said in a statement.

The government accuses the HDP, the second biggest opposition party in parliament, of being a political extension of the PKK and many of its officials and MPs have been remanded in custody on charges of such links.

The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and United States, launched an armed insurgency against the state in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

A ceasefire between the PKK and the state broke down in July 2015 and thousands have been killed in conflict since then.