Mayor of Mardin’s Kızıltepe district dismissed from duty over terror investigation
The mayor of the southeastern province of Mardin’s Kızıltepe district, Nilüfer Elik Yılmaz, has been removed from duty as part of a terror investigation. The Interior Ministry has appointed Hüseyin Çam, the district’s governor, to office.
A statement released by the Mardin Governor’s Office said that there is an ongoing prosecution against Yılmaz on charges of “being a member of a terror organization,” referring to the illegal PKK.
On Nov. 4, Yılmaz tried to enter the municipality building but was denied entry by the police. “I have not done anything illegal. Why didn’t they [officials] then notify me [regarding the dismissal decision],” Yılmaz asked the police.
Yılmaz is a mayor from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which the government accuses of having close links with the PKK.
With this recent move, the government has now replaced a total of 13 mayors from the HDP on alleged links to terrorism since municipal elections in March.