Turkey arrests three academics on "terrorist propaganda" charges

By REUTERS
March 15, 2016 23:55

 
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ANKARA - Turkish authorities arrested three academics on charges of "terrorist propaganda" on Tuesday after they publicly read out a declaration reiterating a call to end security operations in the mainly Kurdish southeast.

Police also detained a British national at the courthouse that ordered the arrests after finding him with pamphlets printed by parliament's Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which has Kurdish roots.

The government blames the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for a car bombing in the capital on Sunday that killed 37 people. The PKK, which has waged a decades-long insurgency, is linked with another bomb attack in Ankara in February that killed 29.

More than 2,000 academics signed a petition in January criticizing military action in the southeast, including round-the-clock curfews aimed at rooting out PKK militants who have barricaded themselves in residential areas in southeastern cities.

Hundreds of civilians, security forces and militants have been killed since the conflict with the PKK reignited in July in the worst violence Turkey has seen for 20 years.

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