Police setting up security perimeters around 2 Kurdish municipal buildings

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Police in the Kurdish province of Şırnak are setting up barricades and X-ray machines in and around the municipal buildings in two districts without the approval of the elected mayors, the Ahval news website reported on Tuesday.

The development was announced by Hüseyin Kaçmaz, a deputy for the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) via Twitter.

“Tens of police officers are trying to set up barricades in front of the Cizre municipal building upon instructions from the Interior Ministry,” Kaçmaz tweeted.

“Our mayors are dismantling them one by one,” he added.

Kaçmaz said the police also tried to put an X-ray machine inside Cizre city hall, which led to a heated argument between a person claiming to be the town’s chief of police and HDP Mayor Mehmet Zırığ.

Zırığ shared video footage of the quarrel in which he asks, “Are you going to act against the law?” to which the alleged police chief says, “Yes, I will act against the law!”

Kaçmaz also announced that in Silopi the police set up a checkpoint in front of the municipal building without consulting the mayor.

Both districts were run by government-appointed trustees until they were reclaimed by HDP in the local elections of March 31.

During the election campaign President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted at the possibility of appointing trustees once again if the mayors are found to be aligned with terrorist groups, an accusation he and his ruling party often make against the HDP.

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