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Turkish court arrests ousted mayor of Diyarbakır on terrorism charges

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Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, the former mayor of Diyarbakır who was previously removed from office by the Interior Ministry was arrested by a court on Tuesday on terrorism-related charges, the Diken news website reported.

Mızraklı was detained on Monday along with three other Kurdish mayors who were also ousted by the ministry for alleged membership in a terrorist group.

Mızraklı was elected on March 31 from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as mayor of Turkey’s largest predominantly Kurdish city. He was removed from office on Aug. 19.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) often accuse HDP mayors of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

The Interior Ministry had also sacked dozens of Kurdish mayors prior to this year’s local elections, especially during a two-year-long state of emergency declared after a failed coup in July 2016. Some of the mayors stood trial on terror charges after their removal.

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