Pro-Kurdish mayor arrested in Turkey

Published: November 8, 2019


ISTANBUL: A mayor from Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party was arrested on Friday, accused of membership in a “terrorist organisation”, according to state news agency Anadolu.

Azim Yacan, mayor of Ipekyolu in the province of Van in southeast Turkey, was arrested along with his deputy, and charged with “terrorist propaganda” and membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).

Yacan is a member of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), the country’s third-largest party.

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The government has cracked down on the HDP in recent months over alleged links to the PKK, which has fought a bloody insurgency against the state since 1984.

Three recently-elected mayors were removed from office in August over alleged PKK ties. Three other mayors were arrested in October on similar charges.

The HDP was the only party to criticise Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Syria last month, labelling it an “invasion”.

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