Hundreds marched through the centre of Nottingham on Friday 4 November to protest against the arrest of at least 12 MPs from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).
The protestors marched to local BBC offices to try to get Kurds voice heard as political freedoms in Turkey are drastically curtailed including the crackdown on the press and social media. The editors and staff of Cumhuriyet, the main opposition newspaper in the country, were also recently arrested. HDP arrests came after a car bombing killed nine people in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish south east — this has been used as an excuse by the Turkish government for the arrests. They see the HDP as the legal arm of the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK).
The crackdown is an attempt by President Erdoğan to consolidate power before next year’s parliamentary vote and referendum to turn Turkey’s parliamentary system into a more centralised presidential system. Kurdish groups are warning Turkey could slip into civil war.