The Turkish government has suspended pro-Kurdish mayors for Turkey’s Çaldıran and Edremit districts over the weekend, bringing the tally of suspended HDP officials elected in March to eight mayors and 56 municipal assembly members.
Medeni Özer, the co-mayor of Edremit district of Van province, and Faruk Demir, the co-mayor of Çaldıran district have been removed from their positions for having “links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK),” according to the GazeteKarınca news portal.
They have been replaced with state-appointed trustees.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has been removing local mayors, particularly in the Kurdish-populated southeastern region, especially since a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Tens of elected Kurdish mayors were replaced by government appointees.