Turkish police detain mayors of two southern provinces
SİİRT / TUNCELİTurkish police detained one of the co-mayors of the eastern province of Siirt, as well as the co-mayors of Tunceli province early on Nov. 16 as part of a terrorism-linked probe.
The arrest of Siirt Co-Mayor Tuncer Bakırhan, who belongs to the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) came after Siirt Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a warrant as part of an investigation into the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The counter-terrorism police carried out an operation early in the day and took heavy security measures around the municipality building. The police then carried out a search inside the building and confiscated the hard disks of the computers for examination.
Bakırhan was detained at his home and a search was conducted at his house.
The search in the municipality building lasted for 3.5 hours and workers were only able to enter the building after police left.
Another operation was carried out in Tunceli, locally known as Dersim, with Turkish police also detaining the co-mayors, Mehmet Ali Bul and Nurhayat Altun, who also belong to the DBP. Bul and Altun were detained at their homes.
Entrances and exits to the municipality building were banned by police while the search at the co-mayors’ houses continued.
In late October, Dıyarbakir Co-Mayors Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı, both also from the DBP, were arrested as part of an investigation into alleged terrorism.
Separately, a subpoena was issued for an opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker from the southeastern province of Şırnak. The 5th Court of Serious Crimes in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa issued a subpoena for Dilek Öcalan, who is also the niece of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, after she refused to show up at a Turkish courthouse.
The hearing of Öcalan, who is accused of “conducting terrorist propaganda,” was held on Nov. 16 with the participation of her lawyer Gülay Koca Öztürkoğlu. Öztürkoğlu said a subpoena could not be issued because her client is a lawmaker.
Ten HDP lawmakers, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, were arrested in a probe launched against 14 of the party’s deputies over alleged links to the PKK.