MARDIN, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – Turkish police on Monday arrested the veteran Kurdish politician and elected co-mayor of the city of Mardin Ahmet Turk along with the co-mayor of the same city’s Artuklu district Emin Irmak.
Turk was arrested in his house during a morning raid, while anti-terror police simultaneously detained Irmak at his office, reported the Kurdistan24 bureau in the neighboring major Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.
Additionally, police took seven other municipal officials at various addresses into custody.
A Turkish public prosecutor in Mardin issued an arrest warrant for Turk and Irmak in a terror-related probe, a similar case with other detained and imprisoned Kurdish politicians who Turkey accuses of acting on behalf of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The PKK has been waging a decades-long guerrilla warfare against Turkish troops for wider Kurdish political and cultural rights.
The Turkish Interior Ministry seized the administration of Turk’s provincial municipality after sacking him and the other co-mayor Februniye Altun last week.
The Ankara-appointed Turkish governor Mustafa Yaman currently runs the Mardin Municipality as a government trustee.
The widely-respected 74-year-old Turk, whose last name was given by the young Turkish Republic’s authorities after the introduction of the 1934 “Surname Law,” had served six times as a lawmaker for Mardin at the Turkish Parliament.
Turk’s arrest is the latest in a string of detentions and imprisonments of Kurdish politicians in the last two months.
There are currently 41 Kurdish mayors in Turkish prisons.
Among the imprisoned Kurds are the removed co-mayors of Diyarbakir Gultan Kisanak, Firat Anli, and Turkey’s second largest opposition block Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas, Figen Yuksekdag and eight other lawmakers.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany