Three mayors from the pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who were suspended from their duties due to their terrorist links, were arrested yesterday.
Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Kayapınar Municipality Mayor Kezban Yılmaz and Bismil Municipality Mayor Orhan Ayaz were arrested following an investigation with charges of “being a member of a terrorist group” and “spreading propaganda for a terrorist group.”
The HDP mayors of Diyarbakır, Van and Mardin metropolitan municipalities were suspended two months ago by the Interior Ministry over terrorism charges.
According to an official statement by the ministry, the mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van provinces, Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Ahmet Türk and Bedia Özgökçe Ertan, respectively, have been suspended for supporting terrorism. The state-appointed governors of the provinces have temporarily replaced the suspended mayors as trustees.
The statement added that the mayors already had active cases against them in which they were accused of crimes such as establishing or spreading propaganda for a terrorist group or being a member of a terrorist group.
The HDP has many times drawn fire for transferring taxpayer money and funds to the PKK, a globally recognized terrorist group. HDP mayors and local officials have been found to misuse funds in support of the PKK terrorist group and provide jobs to PKK sympathizers.
Its 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 when the terrorist group adopted an urban warfare strategy in July 2015 and ended a two-year reconciliation period. HDP municipalities and their staff were also found to be actively participating in terrorist attacks launched after July 2015.
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 in the aftermath of the coup attempt launched by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
Municipalities run by the HDP helped terrorists in various towns and cities dig trenches and erect barricades, which were manned by local sympathizers and young people. Mainly deployed in the southeastern Diyarbakır, Şırnak and Mardin provinces, this strategy led to the destruction of entire neighborhoods in clashes, with the most damage inflicted on Şırnak's city center and in the districts of Sur, Cizre and Nusaybin.
However, the strategy collapsed because of successful anti-terrorist operations and the lack of cooperation from the people in the region. The cities suffered significant damage during the operations. Since then, the government has invested huge amounts of money to recover infrastructure and public services in the region.
Intense reconstruction efforts in the southeastern region were budgeted in the billions including housing, health and education projects as well as restoration processes for historical buildings, mosques and churches, and recreation centers.
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