Four mayors from the pro-PKK People's Democratic Party (HDP) were suspended in eastern Turkey on Wednesday over their alleged terrorist ties.
The Interior Ministry suspended Songül Erden, the mayor of İdil district in southeastern Şırnak province.
In southeastern Diyarbakır province, Belgin Diken, the mayor of Yenişehir district, and Ahmet Çelik, mayor of Hazro district, were suspended from their posts.
Also, in eastern Tunceli province, Orhan Çelebi, the local mayor of Akpazar, a town in Malazgirt district, was suspended.
As part of the investigations, the four mayors were removed from their offices for allegedly being members of an armed terror group and spreading terrorist propaganda, said security sources on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
District governors Zafer Sağ in İdil, Murat Beşikçi in Yenişehir, Ali Öner in Hazro, and Menderes Topçuoğlu in Malazgirt, were appointed as deputy mayors.
Previously on October 22, mayors of Diyarbakır's Kayapınar, Kocaköy and Bismil districts and mayor of the Erciş district of eastern Van province were replaced with district governors over ties to the PKK. Earlier on August 19, mayors of Diyarbakır, Van and Mardin metropolitan municipalities were replaced with governors.The PKK terrorist organization resumed its decades-old campaign in July 2015 after a three-year cease-fire collapsed. Since then, more than 1,200 people, including security personnel and civilians, have lost their lives in PKK attacks. During the process, some Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) municipalities directly or indirectly supported these violent terrorist activities. 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.
As a result, Turkey removed the elected administrations of 94 municipalities in the region for their links to the PKK terrorist group and appointed trustees to these municipalities in 2016. The pro-PKK HDP mayors, who were from eastern and southeastern provinces and districts, were replaced by governors, deputy governors and district governors.