November 27, 2017 / 7:41 AM / a year ago

Turkish police briefly detain academic in Kurdish militant probe: agency

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish academic Fikret Baskaya was briefly detained on Monday as part of an operation targeting members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Twelve other suspects were detained along with Baskaya, it said. Further information about the other suspects’ status was not immediately available.

Baris Yarkadas, a lawmaker from the main opposition CHP, wrote on Twitter that Baskaya, 77, had been detained at his home in the capital Ankara at 6.30 am (0330 GMT) and that police had seized some of his personal possessions.

Baskaya, who is an author and university lecturer, was later released after giving a statement to police, another CHP lawmaker, Murat Emir, said in a tweet.

He added that Baskaya was detained over an article he wrote on Nov. 7, called “Real Terror is State Terror,” in which Baskaya said Turkey’s Kurds suffered oppression at the hands of authorities. The investigation is ongoing despite Baskaya’s release, Emir said.

Anadolu said arrest warrants had been issued for a total of 17 people on allegations of aiding the PKK and spreading the group’s propaganda on social media. Operations to detain the other suspects were ongoing.

The PKK launched a separatist insurgency in southeast Turkey in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict. It is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

Writing by Daren Butler and Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Dominic Evans

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