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Trustee appointed to Varto district after mayor’s arrest

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The Ministry of Interior Affairs on Friday appointed a trustee to the Varto Municipality in eastern Muş province to replace the elected mayor, who was arrested earlier in the week.

The local governor of Varto, Mehmet Nuri Çetin, will also serve as mayor of the district, replacing the elected mayor.

Sabite Ekinci, co-mayor of Varto, was arrested on Wednesday on charges of membership in a terrorist organization, Turkish media reported.

Ekinci, from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP), was detained on Saturday as part of an investigation into the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its umbrella organization, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).

Last week Turkish courts ruled to arrest 10 pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies including the party’s co-chairs, who were detained in the early hours of Friday following police raids on their homes.

HDP Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ and deputies İdris Baluken, Leyla Birlik, Nursel Aydoğan, Selma Irmak, Ferhat Encü and Gülser Yıldırım were arrested on Friday afternoon after they refused to testify about alleged crimes linked to “terrorist propaganda.”



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