Trustees were appointed to ‘municipalities that supported’ terror: Turkish Interior Ministry

Trustees were appointed to ‘municipalities that supported’ terror: Turkish Interior Ministry

Trustees were appointed to ‘municipalities that supported’ terror: Turkish Interior Ministry Turkey’s Interior Ministry has released a 66-page report to justify the appointment of trustees in place of democratically elected politicians in municipalities in the east and southeast of the country, claiming that official vehicles were used to transfer weapons and militants to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), daily Habertürk reported April 6. 

According to the report titled “Assignments to Municipalities due to Terror,” trustees were appointed to the municipalities of 10 provinces, 63 districts and 12 towns run by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) or its sister party, the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), over their alleged links to the PKK. 

Trustees were also appointed to six districts, four of which belonged to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), one to the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and one to an independent.

The report said the PKK “carried terror to the cities” by declaring “so-called self-governments” in certain provinces and districts after the June 7, 2015, general elections, adding that the resources provided by the state to the municipalities were used “in service of terror.”

 In addition, the report said PKK militants and the relatives of militants who died in the operations were employed in the municipalities. 

The report, which was sent to a number of international institutions in English and Turkish, noted that the practice of co-chairmanship was practiced by the PKK.

“The PKK militants in the group’s mountain branch were appointed to the municipalities as personnel. The co-chairs gained a say in construction, license and tender issues,” it also said, adding that weapons were brought with official cars to the PKK and that municipalities that were distant to the PKK “weren’t given the right to live.”

The ministry claimed businesses belonging to the targeted municipalities, such as cafes and parks, were illegally transferred to the relatives of fallen PKK militants and that the municipalities did not collect the garbage of citizens who did not vote for them.

Furthermore, the report alleged that young people were forced to swear an oath of allegiance to the PKK before being sent to the mountains. Social aid was also given to the relatives of PKK militants, it added. 

“Visits to Kandil were paid by inventing fraternal municipalities in Syria and Iraq. Foreign visits were made to countries where PKK meetings were held,” it said, referring to the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq, where the PKK has camps.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) on April 6 announced that eight PKK militants were killed in an air strike conducted in the Çukurca district of the eastern province of Hakkari. The TSK said they killed PKK militants were those who killed three soldiers in the Gabar Mountain area of the southeastern province of Şırnak on April 4. 

The total number of militants killed in the air strikes was announced as 16. 

Elsewhere, 65 people were detained in anti-terror operations carried out in 11 provinces. A total of 86 detention warrants were issued by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the eastern province of Tunceli for their alleged links to the outlawed PKK/Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), Turkish Communist Party/Marxist Leninist (TKP/ML) and its armed wing, the Turkish Workers and Peasants Liberation Army (TİKKO), Maoist Communist Party (MKP) and the Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement (HBDH). 

Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) leader Çiçek Otlu was among those detained.