Latest sweep in KCK probe targets mayors in eastern city
VAN - Doğan News Agency
Van Mayor Bekir Kaya is seen next to indenpent lawmaker Aysel Tuğluk as police search his house. Kaya was detained yesterday for alleged links to the KCK. AA photoAt least fourteen people, including Van’s mayor and several district mayors from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), were detained yesterday as part of the investigation into the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK).
Anti-terror police conducted a long search at the Van Municipality building and Mayor Bekir Kaya’s house in the eastern province.
Among the detained are Muradiye Mayor İzzet Çelik, Özalp Mayor Murat Durmaz, Başkale Mayor Hecer Sarıhan, Edremit Mayor Abdulkerim Sayan, Bostaniçi Mayor Nezahat Ergüneş and Van’s provincial BDP head, Mihriban Şah.
Propaganda for terrorist organization
Many of those of who have been detained in the continuing operation have been accused of “making propaganda on behalf a terrorist organization.”
A crowd of 200 people gathered in Van’s city center to protest the detentions. Tension rose between police forces and the crowd, leading security forces to resort to pepper spray to disperse the people, according to reports.
The KCK is the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Meanwhile, members of the PKK reportedly kidnapped three people on June 6 in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
PKK militants first blocked a highway near the town of Lice, stopping over 30 cars. They forced everyone to step out of the vehicles.
After conducting an ID search, the militants spoke about the terrorist organization for some time.
The militants forced three people into the woods, including a gendarmerie private who was on his way to visit his family in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.
A series of operations has been launched in the area to retrieve the hostages, according to reports.
In a related development, Selim Sadak, mayor of the southeastern province of Siirt from BDP, and another worker from Siirt Municipality were also detained yesterday as part of an operation following fraud claims.