Turkish Police Detain Four Co-Mayors East, Southeast Of Country
The Turkish government detained four more co-mayors in Kurdish-populated areas of the country as part of an ongoing campaign launched to remove mayors that the state accuses of having ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
PKK-affiliated media reported that Turkish police arrested the co-mayor of Malazgirt, east Turkey, and co-mayors of three towns in Sanliurfa province in the southeast of the country.
The co-mayors, who are all members of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), were replaced by Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials – the political party of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
The Turkish government has now removed more than 70 mayors and detained over 35 others in the last two months.
Erdogan accuses the opposition party, the DBP, and its larger sister party, the HDP – which is the third-biggest grouping in parliament – of links with the PKK. Both parties deny the accusations.
Erdogan has said previously that the removal of elected officials and civil servants who are accused of links to the PKK is a key part of his fight against the armed group.
Turkish security forces detained People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag along with nine lawmakers of the party on November 4.
A Turkish court on October 30 formally arrested Gultan Kisanak and Firat Anli, co-mayors of the largely Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir on charges of membership in the PKK after five days in detention.