News ID: 260571
Published: 0523 GMT October 21, 2019

Turkey detains 3 pro-Kurdish mayors over 'terror' links

Turkey detains 3 pro-Kurdish mayors over 'terror' links

Turkey has arrested three mayors from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) on suspicion of "membership in a terror group" and "disseminating terror propaganda."

The three HDP mayors of Kayapinar, Bismil and Kocakoy in the Kurdish majority southeast, as well as the dismissed mayor of Diyarbakir, Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli, were detained as part of an investigation launched by prosecutors, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday, Presstv Reported.

The three local mayors were suspended over alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group, which has been waging an insurgency for autonomy in Turkey’s largely-Kurdish southeast since 1984 and is deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey. 

In August, Mirzakli was removed from office on charges of links to the PKK along with two other mayors. The mayors -- all members of HDP -- had active cases against them in which they were accused of crimes such as establishing or spreading propaganda for the militant group, or just being a member. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly claimed the HDP has ties to the PKK.

Thousands of HDP members have been prosecuted over the same accusation, including its leaders. The party denies any affiliation with the outlawed Kurdish militant group.

The Turkish government is also angered by descriptions of its offensive on Syria that the HDP labels as an “invasion attempt.”

The HDP has urged Ankara to halt the military operation in northern Syria, which is purportedly aimed at pushing Kurdish militants from the border region.

On October 15, Turkey arrested four mayors from the HDP in an apparent crackdown on critics of Ankara’s latest offensive against Syria.

Turkish police has launched criminal investigations against HDP’s co-chairs over their criticism of the attack and began probes into over 500 social accounts over “terrorist propaganda” slamming the offensive.

On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeast Syria in a declared attempt to push YPG militants away from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the PKK. The YPG constitutes the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

 

 

   
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