Kurdistan Turkey remands veteran Kurdish mayor to prison

Turkey remands veteran Kurdish mayor to prison
The imprisoned Co-mayor of the Kurdish city of Mardin speaking to Kurdistan24 TV in this screengrab from an archive video. (Photo: Kurdistan24)

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – A Turkish court sent the elected Co-mayor of the Kurdish city of Mardin, Ahmet Turk to prison four days after his arrest.

Kurdistan24 bureau in the neighboring Diyarbakir reported that Turkish authorities barred Turk from talking his lawyers during his detention since the beginning of the week.

Ayhan Bilgen, the spokesperson for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), tweeted remarks he said were those of Turk who is 74-years-old and carries a chip implanted in his heart because of a previous cardiac failure.

“It does not matter whether I am in prison or free. The question is how to stop this bloodshed,” said Turk who called on the Turkish Government to push for peace, according to Bilgen.

Turk was one of the thousands of Kurdish political prisoners who were subjected to torture in the infamous Diyarbakir Prison after the 1980 coup d’etat.

With the imprisonment of Turk, the number of Kurdish mayors in Turkish prison rose to 43.

Police had arrested Turk and the Co-mayor of the Artuklu district of Mardin Emin Irmak on Monday, as the Interior Ministry removed both from their offices, accusing them of collaborating with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Ministry also appointed the Mardin Governor as a trustee to run the provincial municipality instead of Turk and his colleague, the other Co-mayor, Februniye Altun.

During the operation, 20 other people, mostly municipal officials, and workers were detained.

So far, the administration of 34 Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) has been seized by the government.

Meanwhile, the former leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal visited the imprisoned Kurdish mayor’s house and met with his wife, Mulkiye Turk.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany