District mayor from pro-Kurdish DEM Party faces investigation over ‘insulting President’

Turkish authorities have launched an investigation into Tatvan district’s co-mayor Mümin Erol, from the pro-Kurdish DEM Party, over “insulting the President” for removing the photo of Erdoğan from his mayoral office.

Duvar English

Tatvan Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, located in the eastern Bitlis province, has launched an investigation into the district’s co-mayor Mümin Erol, from the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party, over “insulting the President.”

The footage of Erol removing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's photograph from his mayoral office on the day he took office was recently published on social media and some media outlets.

After the footage, the prosecutor’s office initiated an ex officio investigation against Erol for “insulting the President,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported on June 6.

Erol won the March 31st local election with 48.52 percent of the votes with a 15-point difference over the AKP’s candidate. The district’s municipality switched from the AKP to the DEM Party with the election.

The Turkish government has once again started using judicial and executive powers to replace mayors from the pro-Kurdish party. After the 2019 municipal elections, Turkey detained pro-Kurdish party’s mayors, removing virtually all from their posts to be replaced by state officials over alleged charges of ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

On June 3, Turkish police detained Mehmet Sıddık Akış, Hakkari co-mayor from the DEM Party, over alleged PKK links and he has been replaced by the state governor.

A Turkish court sentenced the co-mayor to nearly 20 years in prison on June 5 over "links to militants" in a case that was ongoing for nearly a decade.