The PKK terrorist organization is trying to gain ground in municipalities by having its candidates be selected in the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lists, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Friday.
"Our candidates for municipalities and local councils were not selected by the PKK or the HDP, but by a party that loves the nation. They [PKK] couldn't infiltrate cities with military actions, now they are trying to do in this way," Çavuşoğlu said in Manavgat district of southern Antalya province. The HDP is known for its support of autonomy in regions where large Kurdish populations live. Also, some of its members have been charged for or accused of having links to the terrorist organization PKK that has been fighting the Turkish state for more than 30 years and left more than 40,000 dead.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday criticized the HDP the for not being able to provide proper municipal services, adding that the party, despite holding offices for years, have little to no achievements in terms of development and services.
The HDP mayors have also been accused of undermining municipal services, allowing the PKK to dig ditches on the streets and launch attacks on police and soldiers. As a result, Turkey removed the elected administrations of 93 municipalities in the region for their links to the PKK terrorist group and appointed trustees to these municipalities in 2016.