Turkey appoints new mayors to replace those allegedly tied to Gulen

Published September 11th, 2016 - 12:00 GMT
Turkish police officers detain a woman in Diyarbakir on September 9, 2016 during a protest against the suspension of over 10,000 teachers for suspected links to militants. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)
Turkish police officers detain a woman in Diyarbakir on September 9, 2016 during a protest against the suspension of over 10,000 teachers for suspected links to militants. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

Twenty-eight trustees were appointed to oversee local administrations Sunday following the suspension of mayors accused of links to terrorism, the Interior Ministry said.

The mayors were suspended from duty over alleged ties to the PKK or Fethullah Gulen - which Turkey blames for the July 15 coup attempt - the ministry said in a statement. Four of the removed mayors are accused of ties to Gulen with 24 said to support the PKK.

The ministry said it was resuming control in municipalities that had “hijacked the national will and taxes”.

The affected areas are mostly in the east and southeast of the country, including the provincial capitals Hakkari and Batman and districts within the provinces of Agri, Van, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Igdir, Mardin, Sanliurfa and Mus.

The decision was made by newly-appointed Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu under emergency powers passed in the wake of the attempted coup.

“With the mandate given us by state decrees, the administration of 28 municipalities will no longer be with terrorists or under instruction from Qandil but with nationals who embrace this flag with its crescent and star,” Soylu said, referring to the PKK’s base in Iraq’s Qandil mountains and the Turkish flag.

Violence erupted in southeast Turkey over a year ago after a ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed.

By Yesim Sert Karaaslan and Ozcan Yildirim


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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