DIYARBAKIR-AMED, Turkey Kurdistan,— Turkish police on Monday detained three mayors from a main pro-Kurdish party on suspicions of “membership in a terror group” and “disseminating terror propaganda”, the official Anadolu news agency reported.
The three local mayors from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Kayapinar, Bismil and Kocakoy in Turkish Kurdistan, the Kurdish majority region in southeast of the country, as well as the dismissed mayor of Diyarbakir, Selcuk Mizrakli, were taken as part of an investigation launched by prosecutors, Anadolu said.
Earlier in October Turkish police detained four mayors from the Kurdish HDP party of the districts of Hakkari, Yuksekova, Ercis and Nusaybin, widening a crackdown since Ankara launched an incursion into Syrian Kurdistan (northern Syria) on October 9.
In August, Mizrakli was one of the three mayors removed from office over alleged links to Kurdish militants, along with those from Mardin and Van provinces in eastern Turkey.
The three — members of the HDP elected in March — were suspended over alleged ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
President Tayyip Erdogan and his government repeatedly accused the HDP of being linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, and thousands of its members have been prosecuted for the same reason, including its leaders.
The HDP denies such links.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy in Turkish Kurdistan for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 79-million population.
More than 40,000 Turkish soldiers and Kurdish rebels, have been killed in the conflict.
A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels and Abdullah Ocalan, who founded the PKK group in 1974 and currently serving a life sentence in Turkey, has a high symbolic value for most Kurds in Turkey and worldwide according to observers.
Copyright © 2019, respective author or news agency, Ekurd.net | AFP
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