A muhtar [neighborhood head] who was recently appointed to the municipal council of Erciş Municipality in the eastern province of Van by Turkey’s Interior Ministry, was killed in an armed attack on Sunday.
Mehmet Şerif Doğu was the muhtar of Latifiye neighborhood in Erciş.
Doğu was killed in front of his house by armed assailants who covered their faces with masks.
Police launched an extensive operation to capture the assailants.
Recently, dozens of trustees have been appointed by the Interior Ministry to mostly pro-Kurdish municipalities in Turkey’s southeast, replacing the elected mayors and municipal council members.
In a statement in June, Murat Karayılan, the leader of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) –an umbrella organization, including the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)- said that they will directly attack trustees, which the government was back then 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.