Diyarbakır municipal websites cut broadcasts in Kurdish after removal of mayor

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Diyarbakır Municipality building.

A trustee who was appointed by Turkey’s Interior Ministry to replace the elected mayor of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır has ordered a halt to news broadcasting in Kurdish on the municipality’s websites.

In a controversial move on Aug.19, the Interior Ministry removed the mayors of Mardin, Van and Diyarbakır in southeastern Turkey, claiming they had links to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The mayors were elected from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the March 31 local elections.

Trustee Hasan Basri Güzeloğlu, who replaced Diyarbakır Mayor Selçuk Mızraklı, ordered the halt of news broadcasting in the Kurmanji and Kurmanji dialects of the Kurdish language on the municipal websites.

Cumali Atilla, a former trustee who was appointed to the Diyarbakır Municipality during a state of emergency by a government decree in November 2016, also ended the municipality’s policy of offering services in various languages and removed the Kurdish signs in the predominantly Kurdish province.

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