Ex-chair of Turkish party held for opposing Syria offensive

Serpil KemalayThe Associated Press
FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 file photo, Serpil Kemalbay, former co-chairwoman of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, addresses the congress in Ankara, Turkey. Turkey's state-run news agency says anti-terrorism police have detained Kemalbay for opposing Ankara's military offensive in Syria. Anadolu Agency said Serpil Kemalbay was detained in Ankara on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, days after prosecutors issued detention warrants against her and 16 other activists.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Turkey's state-run news agency says anti-terrorism police have detained a former leader of the country's pro-Kurdish party for opposing Ankara's military offensive in Syria.

Anadolu Agency is reporting that former HDP party co-chair Serpil Kemalbay was detained in Ankara on Tuesday, days after prosecutors issued detention warrants for her and 16 other activists. They were wanted for questioning about a declaration against the offensive that read at a conference this month.

The Turkish Interior Ministry says 474 people have been detained for engaging in "terror propaganda" on social media and another 192 people for staging protests since the start of the operation in a Syrian Kurd enclave.

Kemalbay and her jailed former co-chair, Selahattin Demirtas, stepped down from the party's leadership during a congress on Sunday.

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