HDP co-mayors of Sur district arrested on terrorism charges

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The co-mayors of the Sur district in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır, both from the ranks of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and both detained on Dec. 20, have been arrested on terrorism charges, the Mezopotamya news agency reported.

Sur co-mayors Filiz Buluttekin and Cemal Özdemir were put in pretrial detention on Monday after they appeared in court. The court ruled for their arrest on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

Following their detention, a trustee was appointed to the Sur Municipality by Turkey’s Interior Ministry.

Since the local elections of March 31, more than 30 HDP mayors have been ousted from office and subsequently arrested.

Ankara accuses the HDP of links to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In August Turkey first removed the mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van, three metropolitan cities won by the HDP.

The controversial practice of removing and arresting mayors was also widely implemented during Turkey’s two-year-long state of emergency following an attempted coup in 2016.

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