MADRID, Aug 19 (EUROPE PRESS) –
Turkey has replaced Monday the prokurd mayors of the cities of southeast Diyarbakir, Van and Mardin, for allegedly belonging to a terrorist organization and for spreading propaganda of terrorist groups, as confirmed by the country's Ministry of Interior.
The dismissed mayors were elected in the most recent local elections held on March 31, 2019. According to the BBC News Turkçe news channel, the mayor of Diyarbakirha has been replaced by the current governor of Diyarbakir, Hasan Basri Güzeloglu. The mayor of Mardin will be replaced by the current governor Mustafa Yaman and the mayor of Van by Mehmet Emin Bilmez.
An official statement, also collected by this news channel, explains that the three mayors have been dismissed because they have tried to “turn these municipalities into logistics centers where militant resources, financial resources and equipment were provided to support terrorist activities,” among other motivations.
This announcement has come a day after Turkish security forces have “neutralized” six suspected members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) separatist armed group.
The Turkish Government uses the term “neutralized” to refer to the suspects being killed, captured or handed over to the authorities.
The Turkish Army has intensified its operations against the PKK both in the country and in northern Iraq since the ceasefire between the government and the armed group was broken in July 2015.
More than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have died since the PKK raised arms against government forces in 1984. The group is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the United States.