Diyarbakır Co-mayors Gülten Kışanak and Fırat Anlı, former pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) deputy Ayla Akat Ata, who was detained on terrorism charges last week, were arrested on Sunday, DHA reported.
The co-mayors were brought to the Diyarbakır Courthouse under tight security on Sunday morning after 5 days of detention.
Ata was arrested by the court after being detained for alleged membership in a terrorist organisation after she protested the detention of Kışanak and Anlı.
HDP group deputy chairman İdris Baluken reacted to the arrest of Anlı and Ata. “The issue is not the detention of Ayla Akat, Fırat Anlı and Gülten Kışanak but an attack on the honor, dignity and will of a nation,” said Baluken in Twitter messages posted on Sunday night.
Kışanak and Anlı are accused of giving speeches in support of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and of promoting more autonomy for Turkey’s Kurds, according to a statement from the Diyarbakir Prosecutor’s Office. They are also accused of transporting the bodies of dead militants in official cars and of sparking violent protests.
The detention of Kışanak and Anlı caused outrage and sparked protests in the region. Many international organizations also condemned the co-mayors’ detention.
A leading politician and former deputy, Kışanak has been serving as the co-mayor of Diyarbakır, the largest city in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish Southeast, since 2014.
Kışanak was detained at Diyarbakır Airport upon her return from Ankara, where she testified to Turkey’s parliamentary Coup Investigation Commission on Tuesday. Anlı was detained at his home.
As tension in southeastern Turkey rises with the arrests of Kurdish politicians, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) building and police guarding the building in the Kızıltepe district of Mardin province were attacked on Sunday night. According to reports, three police officers were wounded during the PKK terrorist attack.
This article originally appeared in Turkish Minute on October 31.