Europe

The Latest: Turkish police clash with Kurdish supporters

  • Police officers detain supporters of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, HDP, as they protest the detentions of Kurdish lawmakers, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Authorities in Turkey detained 11 pro-Kurdish lawmakers early Friday as part of ongoing terror-related investigations, including both party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag and other senior officials, the Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo)

    Police officers detain supporters of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, HDP, as they protest the detentions of Kurdish lawmakers, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Authorities in Turkey detained 11 pro-Kurdish lawmakers early Friday as part of ongoing terror-related investigations, including both party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag and other senior officials, the Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Aysel Tugluk, a pro-Kurdish politician, speaks to the media during a protest against the detention of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, lawmakers, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Authorities in Turkey detained 11 pro-Kurdish lawmakers early Friday as part of ongoing terror-related investigations, including both party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag and other senior officials, the Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo)

    Aysel Tugluk, a pro-Kurdish politician, speaks to the media during a protest against the detention of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, lawmakers, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Authorities in Turkey detained 11 pro-Kurdish lawmakers early Friday as part of ongoing terror-related investigations, including both party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag and other senior officials, the Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police officers detain supporters of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, HDP, as they protest against the detentions of Kurdish lawmakers, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Authorities in Turkey detained 11 pro-Kurdish lawmakers early Friday as part of ongoing terror-related investigations, including both party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag and other senior officials, the Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo)

    Police officers detain supporters of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, HDP, as they protest against the detentions of Kurdish lawmakers, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Authorities in Turkey detained 11 pro-Kurdish lawmakers early Friday as part of ongoing terror-related investigations, including both party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag and other senior officials, the Interior Ministry said. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on an explosion and detentions in Kurdish areas of Turkey (all times local):

4:00 p.m.

Turkish police have clashed with demonstrators who took to the streets in four cities in protest of the detentions of pro-Kurdish lawmakers.

Riot police on Friday used tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of people demonstrating in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya.

The state-run Anadolu agency and other news reports said 10 people were detained in Ankara, five in Antalya and seven others were rounded up in Istanbul's Esenyurt and Kadikoy districts.

___

2:50 p.m.

The European Union said Friday that the detention of 12 pro-Kurdish politicians combined with the lifting of parliamentary immunity of over 130 legislators in May "compromise parliamentary democracy in Turkey."

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini also said in a statement that the moves "exacerbate the already very tense situation" in southeastern Turkey.

In a joint statement with Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn, they said that EU "is gravely concerned" about the detentions.

Over the past months, the relations between the EU and Turkey, still a candidate for membership, have steadily worsened as events in the southeastern neighbor have opened it to increasing criticism that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has overstepped the boundaries of democracy.

___

2:50 p.m.

Turkey's state-run news agency says a court has ordered a pro-Kurdish legislator formally arrested pending a trial.

The Anadolu Agency says a court in the southeastern city of Bingol ruled in the case of Idris Baluken, a senior lawmaker from the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party or HDP.

Baluken was among 12 HDP lawmakers detained for questioning early on Friday as part of ongoing terror-related investigations. One of them was released from custody on condition that he regularly report to authorities.

Authorities said the lawmakers were detained for ignoring orders to appear in court to testify in the probes.

The government accuses the HDP of being the political arm of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has fought an armed insurgency against the state for over three decades. The HDP rejects the accusation.

___

1:55 p.m.

The German Foreign Ministry says a Turkish government representative in Berlin has been summoned for talks following the arrest of a dozen pro-Kurdish politicians.

Ministry spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli said Friday that Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier sees the arrests as a "drastic intensification of the situation" in Turkey.

She says nobody disputes Turkey's right to counter the threat of terrorism and deal with the aftermath of a bloody coup attempt, but it "should not serve as a justification for silencing the political opposition."

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert says the German government is "talking with our Turkish partners at all levels" about the issue.

___

1:50 p.m.

A pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party, or HDP, legislator has condemned the detentions of 12 of his party colleagues, including both co-chairs, saying the operation is aimed at sidelining the HDP and creating an authoritarian Turkey.

Adem Geveri described the detentions as a "political genocide operation," telling The Associated Press that they "officially put an end to the functioning of Parliament in an anti-democratic and unlawful way."

Twelve HDP parliamentarians were detained on Friday for not testifying in court on terrorism-related charges, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag.

"Now with the HDP removed from the political equation, they will go to an early election and establish an authoritarian Turkey without the HDP, without any democratic opposition," Geveri added.

___

1:30 p.m.

Several parties in the European Union legislature have strongly condemned the detention of 12 pro-Kurdish politicians by Turkish authorities over their refusal to testify in ongoing terror-related investigations.

Adding to the groundswell of protest over the actions, the S&D socialists, the second-biggest group in the EU parliament called it "very bad news from (hashtag)Turkey. Again," in a Twitter message.

Helga Truepel of the Greens group said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is turning the nation "into despotism" and called on the EU to react strongly.

Earlier Friday, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini already called on EU ambassadors to meet in Ankara and assess the way ahead.

___

1:20 p.m.

The TurkeyBlocks monitoring network is reporting that access to various social media and messaging apps have been restricted as of 1:20 a.m. Friday, coinciding with the detentions of 12 pro-Kurdish politicians.

Users nationwide have been complaining about restricted access to various social media and messaging, including Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and Skype.

TurkeyBlocks confirmed the restricted access, saying its monitoring probes have identified "throttling at the ISP level as the source of the slowdowns, with the majority of internet users affected at the time of measurement."

Rights activists say restricting access to the internet is aimed at preventing calls for demonstrations.

Last week, internet access was periodically blocked in the southeast following the arrest of the co-mayors of the largest predominantly Kurdish city, Diyarbakir.

___

12:50 p.m.

The European Union's foreign policy chief has expressed concern over the detention of 12 pro-Kurdish politicians by Turkish authorities over their refusal to testify in ongoing terror-related investigations.

Friday's overnight detentions included People's Democratic Party co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag.

EU commissioner for foreign affairs Federica Mogherini wrote on Twitter: "Extremely worried for arrest of Demirtas & other HDP MPs. In contact w/ authorities Called EU ambassadors meeting in Ankara."

Mogherini had also criticized last month the detention of the co-mayors of Turkey's largest predominantly Kurdish city, Diyarbakir, issuing a statement calling on Turkey to resume Kurdish peace efforts saying "a political solution is the only viable option."

___

12:35 p.m.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says a car bomb attack in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir has killed eight people.

Yildirim said up to 100 people were hurt in Friday's blast but only seven of them remain in hospital.

The prime minister said those killed were two police officers, a technician and five civilians.

The prime minister also said one of the assailants was "caught dead" but did not provide details.

___

11:55 a.m.

A large explosion, caused by a car bomb, hit the largest city in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast region on Friday, hours after authorities detained at least 12 pro-Kurdish legislators for questioning in terror-related probes.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said both police and civilians were killed in the attack but did not say how many. The state-run Anadolu Agency said one person was killed and some 30 others were wounded.

The blast occurred in Diyarbakir's Baglar district, near a building used by the riot police. The Diyarbakir governor's office said the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, had claimed the attack.

Anadolu said the attack was carried out with a minibus laden with a ton of explosives.