Duvar English

The co-mayors of the eastern province of Van’s İpekyolu district, Azim Yacan and Şehzade Kurt, were arrested over terror charges on Nov. 11.  

Yacan and Kurt were detained on Nov. 8 on charges of terrorist propaganda and membership in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).  

One day later, on  Nov. 9, the Interior Ministry had appointed District Governor Sinan Aslan as the acting mayor of the district.

Yacan and Kurt are members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the country’s third-largest party.  

Detentions and arrests of HDP members have been a common practice in Turkey since 2016, with the party’s former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ being kept in jail for nearly 3 years. 

In addition to detentions and arrests, Turkish Interior Ministry often appoints trustees to replace elected mayors from the HDP in the country’s southeast and east, again citing “terror charges.”