Kurdistan Turkey arrests more Kurdish politicians and mayors

Turkey arrests more Kurdish politicians and mayors
Turkish police seen surrounding the Municipality of the Kurdish city of Siirt in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, 2016. (Photo: DHA)

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – Turkish anti-terror police units on Wednesday arrested the co-mayors of the Kurdish cities of Siirt, Dersim (Tunceli), and Cizre in probes related to “terrorism.”

In Dersim, police simultaneously raided municipality as well as the houses of the co-mayors Mehmet Ali Bul and Nurhayat Altun.

Moreover, police conducted searches and seized documents alongside computers in the three locations, according to the Kurdistan24 bureau in Turkey’s main Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.

Both Bul and Altun, who were taken to the city’s main police headquarters, are members of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) and were elected with 42 percent of the votes in the 2014 local elections.

In Siirt, police arrested the co-mayor Tuncel Bakirhan in an early morning house raid while doing a search at the municipality, said Kurdistan24 Diyarbakir.

Bakirhan, another DBP mayor, was late last month sentenced to one-year in prison by a Turkish criminal court on charges of “propagating for terrorism.”

Elsewhere, in Cizre near the border with Syrian Kurdistan, a Turkish court remanded the co-mayor of the city Kadir Kunur to prison. Police had detained Kunur on Tuesday at the entrance of Cizre.

Meanwhile, in the town of Patnos in the Agri Province on the border with Iranian Kurdistan, police arrested Omer Narcin and Vahdettin Ilgun, the heads of the local branches of the DBP and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) respectively.

Narcin and Ilgun were accused of membership to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Turkish Government crackdown on Kurdish cities’ municipalities and mayors began in September and continued in October with the imprisonment of the co-mayors of Diyarbakir Gultan Kisanak and Firat Anli.

Ten HDP lawmakers, including its leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, remain in prison.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany