ISTANBUL, Dec. 20 (Reuters / EP) –
The Turkish authorities have arrested a mayor of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party (HDP) formation on Friday as a suspect in propagating terrorism and for alleged defamation of the Turkish people, the Government and the Parliament, according to a person in charge of the services of Turkish security and the Turkish state news agency Anatolia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Government have accused the HDP of having ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) – cataloged by Turkey as a terrorist organization -, which has led to the persecution of thousands of members of this prokurda formation and several of its leaders. The HDP denies that it has links with the PKK.
The Ankara authorities have appointed interim mayors in 31 municipalities governed by the HPD in the southeast of the country since the March elections, according to the Prokurda formation, and 23 co-mayors are currently in prison awaiting trial.
The HDP governs in many cities and municipalities in southeastern Turkey and usually appoints two coalcaldes, one man and another woman, to promote gender equality. Filiz Buluttekin, the mayor of the Southern District, in the province of Diyarbakir, was arrested on Friday, in addition to two other members of the municipal council.
The HDP has reported that the Police have registered Buluttekin's home early this morning. Images spread on the Internet show the barricades built around the building of the municipal council of Sur.
The state news agency Anatolia has reported that the investigations into Buluttekin are based on charges of terrorist propaganda and insults to the Kurdish people, the Government and the Parliament. The agency has indicated that Buluttekin went to PKK militia funerals and participated in a joint press conference to talk about PKK leader Abdulá Ocalan, who has been in prison since 1999.
The two previous HDP co-leaders have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism since 2016, as have other prominent training members accused of supporting terrorism for their alleged links with the PKK.