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Turkish court arrests another Kurdish party mayor

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A high criminal court on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Betül Yaşar, the suspended mayor of Diyadin in Turkey’s Ağrı province, the Diken news website reported.

Yaşar, a local politician from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), was taken into police custody two days ago for membership in a terrorist organization and disseminating terrorist propaganda.

The interior ministry removed her from office due to the terror charges and appointed a trustee to govern in her place.

Three employees from the Diyadin municipality were also detained along with Yaşar and later released pending trial.

In last year’s local elections, the HDP won mayoral races in 65 provinces and districts; however the Supreme Election Board (YSK) refused to give a mandate to govern to six of the elected mayors.

In the meantime, two HDP mayors were expelled from the party.

The Turkish government has removed 47 mayors from the remaining 57 offices won by the HDP.

A regional court on Wednesday upheld a nine-year prison sentence for Ahmet Selçuk Mızraklı, the suspended mayor of Diyarbakır, the largest Kurdish city in Turkey.

Mızraklı was removed from office in August over terrorism charges and was later convicted of membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), designated as a terrorist organization by Ankara for waging a decades-long insurgency in Turkey’s Southeast.

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