Following the arrest of former Diyarbakır Mayor Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı on Tuesday, Turkish courts have ruled to arrest three more mayors from the Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) who were also removed from office, according to Turkish media reports.
Keziban Yılmaz, mayor of Kayapınar, Rojda Nazlıer, mayor of Kocaköy, both in southeastern Diyarbakır province, and Erciş Mayor Yıldız Çetin in the eastern province of Van were arrested after appearing in a court late on Tuesday. The mayor of Diyarbakır’s Bismil district, Orhan Ayaz, was released on judicial probation.
All the mayors, who were democratically elected in local elections on March 31, have been removed from office by Turkey’s Interior Ministry.
Ankara accuses the HDP of links to militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). It has now replaced a total of 12 mayors from the HDP on alleged links to terrorism since the municipal elections in March.
In August Turkey first removed the mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van, three metropolitan cities won by the HDP.