The Turkish government has arrested a total of 64 co-mayors from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) in the past couple of months, seized the administration of 46 municipalities, and jailed a total of 3,051 DBP members, according to the Diken news portal.
The pro-Kurdish DBP won 103 municipalities in the recent local elections, which were held on 30 March 2014, with some repeated on 1 June 2014. However, with Turkey has stepped up political pressure on Kurdish politicians in recent months, the gov’t appointed trustees to the management of 46 municipalities, arrested a total of 64 co-mayors, and a total of 11 deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). In one of the most recent examples, on Dec 3, Turkish police detained the co-mayors of three districts of Turkey’s southeastern province of Hakkari as part of counterterrorism operations, officials have announced.
The Turkish government claims that the growing number of arrests of Kurdish politicians at the national and local levels are part of the fight against terrorism.
On Nov. 4, Turkish courts arrested nine HDP deputies including the party’s co-chairs, who were detained in the early hours of the same day following police raids on their homes.
HDP Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ and deputies İdris Baluken, Leyla Birlik, Nursel Aydoğan, Selma Irmak, Ferhat Encü and Gülser Yıldırım were arrested on Nov. 4.
Three days after the arrest of the nine HDP deputies, Turkish police this time detained HDP deputy Nihat Akdoğan in the southeastern province of Hakkari. Akdoğan was later arrested by a Turkish court and jailed pending trial.