Europe

Turkey halts operations of 370 civic groups, raids offices

  • Pro-Kurdish  demonstrators protest  against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the political repression that followed July's failed military coup,  in Cologne, Germany Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. People showing flags of detained Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK , leader Abdullah Ocalan. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

    Pro-Kurdish demonstrators protest against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the political repression that followed July's failed military coup, in Cologne, Germany Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. People showing flags of detained Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK , leader Abdullah Ocalan. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters demonstrate against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Cologne, Germany, Saturday Nov. 12, 2016.  Banner reads:  Stop the Edogan Dictatorship. About 20,000 protesters demonstrated Saturday in the western German city of Cologne against the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The rally in an industrial area along the Rhine River brought together pro-Kurdish demonstrators and also members of the Alevi religious minority protesting Erdogan’s crackdown after a failed coup attempt in Turkey this summer.   (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)

    Protesters demonstrate against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Cologne, Germany, Saturday Nov. 12, 2016. Banner reads: Stop the Edogan Dictatorship. About 20,000 protesters demonstrated Saturday in the western German city of Cologne against the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The rally in an industrial area along the Rhine River brought together pro-Kurdish demonstrators and also members of the Alevi religious minority protesting Erdogan’s crackdown after a failed coup attempt in Turkey this summer. (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey's Interior Ministry has halted the operations of 370 civic associations on terrorism-related charges, with police raiding several offices and detaining members.

Some of the raids Friday met resistance, leading to detentions.

Nergis Aslan, the general secretary of the Progressive Lawyers' Association, told The Associated Press that the Turkish government gave no explanation for the decision to shut down his group. She says "there is serious suppression against any form of organization, association or any sort of opposition group."

Turkey has come under intense criticism from allies and opposition groups over its crackdown on dissenting voices during the state of emergency declared after July's failed coup.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus defended the closures, saying Turkey has to take measures against multiple terror threats.