Top PKK leader threatens to attack trustees to be appointed to HDP mayor’s offices

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Murat Karayılan, the leader of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) –an umbrella organization, including the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)- said in a statement that they will directly attack trustees, which the government is planning to appoint to pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) mayor’s offices.

“If they [the government] takes over [HDP mayors’ offices], we will target whoever is appointed to replace the mayor. I am telling this openly. They want to expand the war and they are imposing this on us. Of course, we will respond accordingly,” Karayılan said.

Karayılan’s statement followed the government’s recent announcement of its plans to confiscate some mayors’ offices in the municipalities, which are accused of financially or logistically supporting the PKK.

The PKK is designated as a “terrorist organization” by the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), as well as Turkey. The 32-year-old conflict, which has claimed more than 40,000 lives, halted in March 2013 as part of the settlement process initiated between the PKK and the Turkish government. However, the PKK ended the ceasefire in the summer of 2015.

There have been repeated clashes between security forces and PKK members since the cease-fire collapsed in July 2015. Nearly 200,000 locals in the Southeast have been forced to leave their homes due to fighting and curfews.

The Turkish General Staff recently released a statement, saying that a total of 1,000 members of the PKK were killed in the operations in the southeastern provinces of Şırnak and Mardin between March 14 and June 3.

The authorities have been imposing curfews in towns and districts to flush PKK militants from urban areas in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish Southeast since the collapse of the peace process.

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