Turkey, another Kurdish mayor has been arrested on charges of ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers‘ Party (PKK). The mayor of Ipekyolu, Azim Yacan, and his deputy Sehzade Kurt were detained today, according to state news agency Anadolu Ajansi.
They were accused of „propaganda“ and „membership in a terrorist organization“. The two politicians from the eastern province of Van belong to the pro-Kurdish Democratic Party of Peoples (HDP). At the municipal election in March, she had won the majority in dozens of cities and communities in the majority of Kurdistan’s southeastern Anatolia.
However, the prosecutor has since then arrested numerous local politicians on charges of maintaining ties with the Kurdish PKK guerrillas.
Dozens of other HDP mayors have been replaced by state administrators, including city leaders Diyarbakir, Mardin, and Van. The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the HDP of being the political arm of the PKK. The HDP denies this and stresses that it has always advocated a peaceful solution to the Kurdish conflict. The dismissal of their representatives condemns them as an attack on democracy.