Interior Ministry suspends co-mayors of eastern Batman province
BATMAN – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoThe Turkish Interior Ministry has suspended the co-mayors of the eastern province of Batman, along with 17 members of the municipal council and three members of the provincial council, late Oct. 15, on grounds they made “self-governing” statements.
Batman’s co-mayors, Sabri Özdemir and Gülistan Akel, 17 members of the municipal council and three members of the provincial council were suspended from their duties by the Interior Ministry after an investigation was launched into alleged claims of the suspects proclaiming “self-government” in Batman.
The names of the three members of the provincial council were stated as provincial council head Emine Aslan, and Mehmet Salih Altun and Şükrü Aslan.
Commenting on the suspension, Özdemir said they did not recognize the interior minister and the ministry’s inspectors who made the decision.
“The Batman nation has delivered its will to us. We do not recognize the decision that has been made. We will only leave if the Batman nation sends us [away] through ballot boxes,” Özdemir said on Oct. 15, together with Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies.
Özdemir and Akel were among more than 80 people detained by gendarmerie forces on Sept. 19 after they attempted to enter a military security zone where an outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant was killed in Batman’s Kelhasan village on Sept. 19.
While Özdemir and 56 others were released on probation, 26 people, including Akel, were arrested and sent to jail.