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2 more pro-Kurdish mayors arrested on terrorism charges

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The co-mayors of the Doğubeyazıt district of Ağrı province in eastern Turkey, both of whom are from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP), were arrested on Sunday on charges of aiding a terrorist organization and disseminating its propaganda.

Doğubeyazıt Co-mayors Delal Tekdemir and Murat Rohat Özbay were among 10 people detained last week as part of an investigation into the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkey has stepped up its crackdown on Kurdish politicians in recent months. Trustees have been appointed to dozens of municipalities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast, while Turkish courts in late 2016 arrested 11 HDP deputies, including the party’s Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ. One of these deputies, İdris Baluken, was released from jail last month. With the arrest of two more HDP deputies, there are currently 12 HDP deputies behind the bars.

According to the Fırat news agency, 80 DBP co-mayors have been arrested thus far.

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