Turkey detains Kurdish opposition party members as nation mourns bombing victims

Authorities have accused the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party of supporting terrorism - a charge the party denies

Turkish police have detained nearly 150 members of a Kurdish opposition political party as the country remains in mourning following a terrorist attack over the weekend.

The country observed a national day of mourning yesterday, after 44 people were killed in two devastating bombings in Istanbul.

More than 150 others were injured in the explosions on Saturday night.

The state-run Anadolu news agency has reported today that police have detained 37 people linked to the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in morning raids in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.

The state-run television channel TRT reported similar dawn raids in the port city of Mersin, where 58 people were reportedly arrested and in Sanliurfa in the southeast, where 51 people were detained.

All were rounded up for alleged links to terrorism, however the reports did not specify whether those detained were suspected of involvement in the Saturday attacks.

Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag said the fatalities in the bombing included 36 police officers and eight civilians. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other Turkish authorities have accused the HDP of supporting terrorism and having ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The party, which was democratically elected into parliament in 2014, denies the accusation. Its two leaders are currently behind bars on terrorism-related charges.

Kurdish separatists and the Turkish state have been locked in a decades-long conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people. Violence resumed after the collapse of peace talks in 2015.

A state of emergency was decreed in the wake of a failed July 15 coup attempt which the authorities blamed on a US - based Islamist cleric.

That measure and the sweeping purges of state institutions that followed have alarmed Western governments, human rights groups and legal experts.

Turkey's campaign against armed Kurdish militants in the southeast has also drawn criticism over the disproportionate use of force and the displacement of thousands of individuals.

Amnesty international said half a million people have been forced out of their homes in the south-west of the country following a "brutal crackdown" by Turkish authorities in the past year.