Turkey

Turkey appoints mayors to replace those tied to terror

28 local officials, mostly in southeast, east Turkey replaced under emergency powers

11.09.2016
Turkey appoints mayors to replace those tied to terror

By Yesim Sert Karaaslan and Ozcan Yildirim

ANKARA

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 the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) linked to the July 15 coup attempt, the ministry said in a statement. Four of the removed mayors are accused of ties to FETO 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.

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015 while FETO supporters are said to have attempted the coup that left 240 people martyred.

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