Ousted Kurdish mayor and 4 others detained

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Turkish police in dawn raids on Monday detained the former co-mayor of Cizre in southeastern Şırnak province from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the HDP district co-chair and three others, the Mesopotamia News Agency reported.

Counterterrorism police reportedly broke down the doors of former co-mayor Berivan Kutlu and Cizre district co-chair Güler Tunç.

The government ousted the co-mayor, appointing a trustee in her stead in October 2019.

The detainees are being held at the Cizre Police Department, according to Mesopotamia.

Ankara has removed from office 59 of 65 mayors from the HDP, replacing them with government-appointed trustees, over accusations of ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a secessionist Kurdish armed group outlawed by Turkey.

The ousted mayors were elected in the local elections of March 2019, when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered a significant blow by losing the mayoralties of three major cities — İstanbul, Ankara, and İzmir — to opposition candidates.

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