In the government's latest attempt to criminalize the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), summary of proceedings have been prepared against 18 of its deputies, bringing charges against them for attending demonstrations and for making statements including the word "Kurdistan."
The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) is currently left with running only six municipalities as a result of a series of crackdowns on the party. Since March 2019 local elections, mayors have been replaced by trustees in 48 of the 65 municipalities won by the HDP.
Road signs displaying the Kurdish names for local neighborhoods in southeastern Van's Çaldıran district were taken down by the trustee mayor appointed by Ankara. Turkey's Interior Ministry has replaced more than 45 mayors from the HDP in southeast Turkey since the 2019 local elections.
EU’s top diplomat criticizes Ankara for undermining local democracy after dismissal of more HDP mayors
The Turkish government’s move to detain and replace HDP mayors in Kurdish-majority areas "appears to be politically motivated," Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief said. "Turkey should repeal measures inhibiting the functioning of local democracy," he said in a statement on May 18.
Shortly after being dismissed from duty, Iğdır mayor Yaşar Akkuş has been arrested. Meanwhile, HDP officials on May 18 staged protests against the government for targeting elected mayors and denounced the crackdown as a "coup."
Six co-mayors from the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) were removed from their posts by the Interior Ministry. While all six were replaced by trustees of the Interior Ministry, three of the southeastern co-mayors were later detained. Meanwhile, the mayor of an eastern province was detained on charges related to an ongoing investigation.