Turkey’s Interior Ministry removes another Kurdish mayor

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The Interior Ministry on Tuesday removed the mayor of the southeastern town of Cizre from office and replaced him with a district governor, according to the Turkish media.

The Şırnak Governor’s Office cited terrorism charges in two ongoing investigations into Mehmet Ziriğ, a mayor from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

In one of the investigations Ziriğ was accused of membership in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a terrorist organization that has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey’s Southeast.

In a more recent probe he was charged with disseminating terrorist propaganda.

Ziriğ was elected by a 77 percent majority in the predominantly Kurdish town.

Turkey’s Interior Ministry was given the authority to remove elected mayors on the basis of negative administrative assessments in the aftermath of a failed coup in July 2016.

In August the elected mayors of three large Kurdish cities, Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van, were removed from office.

A Turkish court last week arrested Ahmet Selçuk Mızraklı, the ousted mayor of Diyarbakır from the HDP, on terrorism charges.

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