Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Thursday decided to remove from office the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-mayors of Elazığ’s Sarıcan district, according to the Turkish media, bringing the number of suspended mayors from the HDP to 46.
Co-Mayors Bekir Polat and Canan Tağtekin were detained by police yesterday as part of a terrorism-related investigation.
The ministry appointed Erkan Kaçmaz, the deputy governor of Elazığ, as trustee for the mayoral office.
“Government-appointed trustees are a usurpation of the right to elect and be elected, denouncing the people’s will,” the HDP said in a written statement, according to the Gazete Karınca news website.
The party had won 65 mayoral offices in the local elections of March 2019, but the Supreme Election Board (YSK) declined give the mandate to rule to six of the elected mayors.
With today’s move, the HDP has only 13 municipalities remaining under its control.