Anti-terror police detained 34 people on Tuesday in pre-dawn raids in Istanbul aimed at groups suspected of having links to an outlawed leftist militant movement, Turkish news agencies reported.
The raids were ordered just a month before Turks vote in a parliamentary election expected to result in victory and a third consecutive term for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, known as the AK Party.
Among those held, according to Dogan news agency and state-run Anatolian, were three musicians, all members of a protest folk band called Grup Yorum.
The police launched three raids simultaneously on the offices of the Okmeydani Rights and Freedoms Organisation, the Youth Organisation's Federation and the Idil Culture Centre, used by Grup Yorum.
A lawyer for the detainees told Dogan that they were suspected of having connections with the ultra-leftist DHKP-C movement.
The DHKP-C was blamed for a suicide attack in 2001 that killed two police and a tourist in Istanbul's central Taksim Square.
Going into the election, there are fears of an upsurge in violence involving militant Kurdish separatists. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) claimed responsibility last week for an attack on police as they escorted an AK party campaign bus after a rally held by Erdogan in northern Turkey.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Mayıs 2011, 16:46