ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish authorities detained mayors of four more municipalities in Kurdish-majority areas on Friday as part of what it called terrorism related investigations, a security source and state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Friday.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) mayors of the eastern provinces of Igdir, Siirt and districts of Baykan and Kurtalan were detained at their houses, according to the source and to Anadolu.
President Tayyip Erdogan’s government accuses the HDP of having links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, leading to prosecutions of thousands of its members and some leaders. The HDP denies such links.
Since March 2019 local elections, mayors have been replaced by trustees in more than half of the roughly 65 municipalities won by the HDP. Ankara has appointed governors and other local authorities as trustees in those districts.
The former co-leaders of the HDP have both been jailed since 2016 on terrorism charges, with several other prominent party members accused of supporting terrorism over what the government says are links to the PKK.
Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer