DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Kurdistan24) – A Turkish government crackdown on elected Kurdish officials continued on Wednesday as a Turkish court remanded the co-mayor of the town of Varto Sabite Ekinci to prison on terror-related charges.
Ekinci was elected with 64 percent in 2014 local elections in her hometown of Varto (Gimgim in Kurdish) in the Mus Province some 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of the city of Diyarbakir.
Turkish anti-terror police units had earlier raided Ekinci’s house, her municipality, and the town’s cultural center and arrested her on Nov. 4.
The charges directed against Ekinci, who is a member of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP), ranged from membership to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to infringement of the law in her municipality’s financial dealings.
The Turkish Government was now expected to appoint a trustee to run the municipal administration of Varto, reported the Kurdistan24 Diyarbakir bureau.
The number of Kurdish-run municipalities that have been seized since September by Turkey’s Interior Ministry rose to 30 after Ekinci’s arrest.
The DBP won the municipal administration of more than 100 towns and cities in a dozen Kurdish Provinces in the 2014 elections.
Ekinci’s imprisonment followed last week’s mass detention and jailing of 10 Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers including its charismatic leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag.
Turkish authorities also detained and put DBP’s co-chair Sebahat Tuncel in prison.
The wave of detentions has led to strong condemnation by European Union officials who called for a suspension of EU accession talks with Ankara.
Late in October, Turkey jailed the co-mayors of the Metropolitan Municipality of Diyarbakir Gultan Kisanak and Firat Anli, again with accusations of crimes related to terrorism.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany