Police besiege HDP headquarters in Istanbul

Police in Istanbul are deploying a large force in an attempt to prevent a rally by the HDP on the hunger strike in Turkish prisons.

In the run-up to a rally planned in Istanbul's Kadiköy district to mark the hunger strike of political prisoners against Abdullah Öcalan's isolation and inhumane prison conditions, the police have sealed off the building of the HDP district association. A large number of people are in and outside the building, including members of parliament Züleyha Gülüm and Musa Piroğlu, the co-chairs of the Istanbul HDP associations, activists from the women's movement TJA and members of the prisoners' aid association MATUHAY-DER.

The access roads to the HDP headquarters were blocked off with water cannons and riot police units. Access to the building was only allowed after a criminal record check, which also applied to journalists. Although no prohibition order has been issued, the police are threatening immediate intervention if a statement is made as planned.

People in front of the HDP building protest against the police blockade with slogans and songs.

On Wednesday, raids took place in 15 district associations of the HDP in Istanbul. Banners and information material on the hunger strike were confiscated.