Lawmaker candidates nabbed in counterterrorism ops in Türkiye


Three of 10 suspects captured in a counterterrorism operation across Türkiye on Sunday turned out to be candidates from the Green Left Party (YSP). The YSP is the adopted name of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for the May 14 elections as the party faces a closure lawsuit.

Security forces launched operations against the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), which is recognized as a terrorist group in eight provinces, upon arrest warrants issued by prosecutors in the central Turkish province of Eskişehir. Seventeen suspects were wanted by security forces and a manhunt is underway to capture seven others.

Operations were carried out in Eskişehir, Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Isparta, Hatay, Kayseri and Çanakkale. Searches of the premises where raids were conducted found propaganda material for the terrorist group. Police identified suspects M.K., B.A. and A.M.Y. as candidates for parliamentary elections from the YSP for Eskşehir, Istanbul and Izmir, respectively.

The MLKP, founded in 1994, is on Türkiye’s list of “primary terrorist organizations.” In January, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) eliminated Zeki Gürbüz, a group leader in Syria, in an operation in the country’s al-Hasakah region.

Although it tries to portray itself as a separate group, the MLKP often aligns with the PKK. The PKK has conducted a bloody campaign of terrorism across Türkiye for decades, killing thousands of people, particularly in the southeast. During Türkiye’s operations in Syria’s north to wipe out the PKK’s Syrian offshoot YPG’s presence, several MLKP members joined the PKK/YPG in terrorist attacks targeting Turkish security Syrian opposition forces.

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