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AFP
August 22, 2019

Turkish police block protests over sacking of pro-Kurdish mayors

World

AFP
August 22, 2019

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: Turkish police on Wednesday blocked protests over the government’s sacking of three mayors in the southeast accused of having links to Kurdish militants, an AFP correspondent said.

At least 200 people attempted to stage a protest march to Diyarbakir’s historic Sur district but were met with police water cannons and seven were detained, the correspondent said. Around 500 officers also surrounded a sit-down protest of 200 people in Diyarbakir.

The interior ministry also fired the Van and Mardin mayors, who like that of Diyarbakir are members of the Peoples’Democratic Party (HDP), on Monday. In all three cases, Ankara-appointed governors were given authority over the cities’administrations.

Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez took the further step of dissolving the municipality’s HDP-majority assembly. The government says the HDP is a political front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.

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