Indictment seeks up to 15 years for ousted Diyarbakır mayor

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Suspended Diyarbakır mayor was brought to the courthouse under heavy security measures.

Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, the former mayor of the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakır, faces a jail sentence of from seven to 15 years on charges of terrorist organization membership, according to an indictment drafted by a Turkish prosecutor, Turkish media reported.

Mızraklı was elected Diyarbakır mayor from the ranks of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in a local election held on March 31. Along with several other HDP metropolitan mayors, he was removed from office by Turkey’s Interior Ministry in August.

Mızraklı was arrested on Oct. 22 on terrorism charges. Concluding an investigation into the former Diyarbakır mayor, a prosecutor has drafted a three-page indictment in which Mızraklı faces charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

The Turkish government accuses the HDP of links to militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

One-and-a-half pages of the indictment consist of the testimony of an informant named Hicra Berna Ayverdi. The other half makes reference to events and demonstrations Mızraklı attended as evidence of terrorism.

Ayverdi’s testimony includes a claim that Mızraklı, who is also a medical doctor, worked for the healthcare commission of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an umbrella group of the Kurdish political movement.

Ayverdi also claimed she heard that when Mızraklı was working at the private Veni Vidi hospital in Diyarbakır, he treated a PKK militant who was suffering from an intestinal blockage in 2012 or 2013. She said she was working as an anesthesia technician at the same hospital at the time.

The Turkish Interior Ministry has removed 13 Kurdish mayors since the local elections on March 31, citing alleged links to terrorism. The controversial practice was also widely implemented during Turkey’s two-year-long state of emergency following an attempted coup in 2016, with the removal of scores of Kurdish mayors, many of whom also stood trial on terrorism-related charges after their ousting.

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