Gov’t appointed mayor assigns theater actors as municipal police

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Deputy Governor Bilal Özkan, who replaced the mayor of Diyarbakır’s Sur district after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government appointed trustees to run 24 pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) municipalities on Sept. 10, has assigned five actors from the city theater to serve as municipal police.

According to a story reported by pro-Kurdish Dicle news agency (DİHA) on Thursday, five actors were transferred from the Sur directorate of city theaters to the police department.

The five thespians have acted in hundreds of plays under Diyarbakır’s Metropolitan Municipality Theater Community since 1994.

On Oct. 1, Şevket Ertuğ Aksoy, the acting mayor of Batman who was appointed by government decree on Sept. 11, shut down the city theaters operating under the municipality and also announced that all the plays scheduled to be staged this year had been cancelled.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Interior Affairs on Sept. 11, Batman was among 24 municipalities whose mayors allegedly support the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK). With the authority vested in it by emergency rule, the Turkish government removed the 24 mayors and replaced them with trustees.

The government’s decision to replace elected mayors with trustees was made possible by decree No. 647 issued after a foiled coup on July 15.

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