Turkey

Turkey: Statement on mayors suspended for terror links

3 mayors in eastern, southeastern Turkey suspended for alleged terror links early Monday

Nilay Kar Onum   | 19.08.2019
Turkey: Statement on mayors suspended for terror links

ISTANBUL

Turkey’s Interior Ministry Monday released a statement in three languages over the recently suspended mayors for their alleged terror links in the east and southeast of the country.

The mayors of southeastern Diyarbakir and Mardin and eastern Van provinces -- Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli, Ahmet Turk and Bedia Ozgokce Ertan, respectively -- have been suspended for supporting terrorism early Monday.

The ministry’s statement, released also in English and Kurdish, is as follows:

“PKK/KCK terrorist organization and its extensions that have significantly been at a loss as a result of the decisive struggle against terrorism in recent years have exerted the feasibilities of municipalities for illegal purposes through some mayors.

“Some of municipalities, which are components of the holistic organization of the state, whose duties and responsibilities are set forth by the Constitution and laws and whose primary duty is to cover the local and mutual needs of citizens, have been sought to become the logistical centers for ensuring militant source, financial support and equipment for supporting terrorist activities.

“In addition, such municipalities which have been striven to become the component of an administration model, contrary to other regions of our country, have been used as an instrument against the indivisible integrity of the state with its territory and nation as set forth in Article 3 of our Constitution.

“After having highlighted this situation through judicial and administrative investigations, our Ministry suspended mayors, who were identified and proven to be engaged and affiliated with terrorist organizations and to support them, from their duties pursuant to the Article 127 of the Constitution and the Article 47 of the Municipality Law No. 5393. In substitution for them, acting mayors were appointed in accordance with the Article 45 of the Municipality Law.

“As a result of the heavy struggle of all units of the State in this process, the participation to the terrorist organizations have fallen to the lowest level of the last 30 years and the number of terrorists in our territories has declined from the figures of 1,800-2,000 to some 600. The resources of municipalities in many provinces/districts in the eastern and southeastern regions have been canalized for local services instead of financing the terrorist organization while our provinces, intended to be turned into a chaotic structure through the trenches and barricades erected by the terrorist organization and its supporters have been introduced with the genuine municipalism highlighting the peace and service. 

“Thanks to this, public resources have been secured and the level of peace and prosperity of our citizens have enhanced by means of mobilizing the resources into municipal services.

“Having lost the feasibilities of the municipalities after the appointments of mayors, the separatist terrorist organization and its political extensions regarded the elections of local authorities on March 31, 2019 as an opportunity to resolve its challenges to recruit militants, ensure pecuniary resources and motivate its alignments. The terrorist organization exerted heavy efforts to nominate candidates who would be easily led once they would be elected and would be under its guidance and orientation. 

“Therefore, persons, in particular Ahmet Turk who was under custody, but was ruled to be jailed trial without arrest on account of his health problems, indicted and prosecuted due to offenses of forming or commanding an armed terrorist organization, becoming a member of an armed terrorist organization, making propaganda for the terrorist organization, praising an offense and offender, were deliberately and willfully nominated as mayor candidate in some municipalities."

The statement went on citing the charges against the mayors suspended:

“IN THIS REGARD, in DIYARBAKIR province, Adnan Selcuk MIZRAKLI;

1- being indicted as per the Prosecution, Docket No. 2017/129, conducted by Diyarbakir 9th High Criminal Court due to the offense of ‘forming or commanding an armed terrorist organization,’

2- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2018/7592, conducted by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization and praising an offense and offender,’

3- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/30425, conducted by Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offense of ‘becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization,’

4- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/111869, conducted by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization and praising an offense and offender,’

5- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/106124, conducted by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization and praising an offense and offender,’

6- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/111864, conducted by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization and praising an offense and offender,’

7- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/111876, conducted by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization and praising an offense and offender,’

8- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/111845, conducted by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization and praising an offense and offender,’

9- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/28838, conducted by Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offense of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization and becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization’ was elected as the metropolitan municipality mayor in Diyarbakir province.

“IN THIS REGARD, in MARDIN province, Ahmet TURK;

1- being indicted as per the prosecution, file no. 2017/279, conducted by Mardin 3rd High Criminal Court -- being jailed trial without arrest owing to becoming elderly and his health problems whereas he was jailed pending trial due to the offenses of ‘becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization, misuse of public duty, forming and commanding an armed terrorist organization,’

2- being indicted as per the prosecution, file no. 2018/229, conducted by Mardin 3rd High Criminal Court due to the offense of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’

3- being prosecuted as per the investigation, file no. 2018/270, conducted by Mardin Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offense of ‘becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization,’

4- being prosecuted as per the investigation, file no. 2018/11686, conducted by Mardin Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offense of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’

5- being prosecuted as per the investigation, file no. 2019/300, conducted by Mardin Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of “becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization and deliberately and willfully aiding the terrorist organization,’

6- being prosecuted as per the investigation, file no. 2019/1642, conducted by Mardin Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of ‘becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization and deliberately and willfully aiding the terrorist organization’ was elected as the metropolitan municipality mayor in Mardin province.

“IN THIS REGARD, in VAN province, Bedia OZGOKCE ERTAN;

1- being indicted as per the prosecution, docket no. 2016/557, conducted by Van 2nd High Criminal Court due to the offense of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’

2- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2016/9837, conducted by Van Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization and becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization,’ 

3- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2016/15596, conducted by Van Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offense of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’

4- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/6711, conducted by Van Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offense of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’

5- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/11570, conducted by Van Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of ‘praising an offense and offender and making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’

6- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/11571, conducted by Van Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offense of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’

7- being prosecuted as per the investigation no. 2019/109905, conducted by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office due to the offenses of ‘becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization and making propaganda for the terrorist organization’ was elected as the metropolitan municipality mayor in Van province

The statement went on saying: "Our Ministry has received several notices, complaints and reports suggesting that after Adnan Selcuk MIZRAKLI -- indicted with a prosecution file and prosecuted with eight separate investigation files -- had become the metropolitan mayor of Diyarbakir; Ahmet Turk, indicted with two prosecution files and prosecuted with four separate investigation files, the Metropolitan Mayor of Mardin and Bedia OZGOKCE ERTAN, indicted with a prosecution file and prosecuted with six separate investigation files, metropolitan mayor of Van -- all due to the offenses of ‘forming or commanding the armed terrorist organization, becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization, making propaganda for the terrorist organization and praising an offense and offender’ -- launched practices supporting the objectives, ideological discourses and actions of the separatist terrorist organization, echoed the manners and discourses in this direction and oriented feasibilities of the municipality in such a manner to support the terrorist organization, rather than covering the local and mutual needs of citizens.’

"Once the metropolitan mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin, and Van provinces had taken their offices,

“It was highlighted that they exerted the so-called ‘co-mayor’ practice upon the instructions of the leaders of the separatist terrorist organization, which doesn’t have any legal grounds within legislation of the municipality and the mayor-in-office launched all his/her powers with those vested with the capacity of the co-mayor -- ignoring that they were elected as the mayor with the public votes -- and enabled these co-mayors in what way and by whom they were authorized and elected was not certain to illegally act as mayors de facto, as well as they intended to convert the municipalities into an administrative structure separate from the whole country, they de facto employed the former municipal employees, who had been removed from their offices due to their engagement, affiliation and relation with the terrorist organization under various positions in these municipalities even though they didn’t have any legal capacities and they strived to reconvert the municipalities into centers in which persons engaged and affiliated with the separatist terrorist organization based.  

“They indulged these persons not actually working in the municipality to get involved in all actions, ranging from municipal investments, personnel recruitments to settling the agendas of the municipal council and committee; besides, they permitted the persons, who had been elected as the member of municipal council from the HDP [Peoples’ Democratic Party] to be listed in the 2019 elections; but whose certificate of election hadn’t been issued on account of the fact that they had been dismissed from the public service to the de facto work in the municipality -- as if they had been on duty -- and also to give orders to the municipal officials;

“Since the participation to the terrorist organization has extremely diminished at recent times, they sought to offer employment opportunities to the kinsmen of the PKK terrorists neutralized as a result of the operations within the framework of the struggle against terrorism and provide financial support to their families. They practiced mobbing, tyrannized and replaced the positions, and/or discharged the relatives of martyrs for this reason.

“Instead of rendering services to cover the needs of citizens, they attended the funerals of terrorists who aimed against the indivisible integrity of the state and martyred many soldiers, police officers, gendarmerie officers, village guards, teachers, other public servants and citizens cruelly, and visited the graves of these terrorists, as well as publicly ensuring support to the terrorists;

“Following the 2019 local elections, they started to change the titles of streets, avenues or parks that remind us of national spiritual background with the names of the members of the terrorist organization imprisoned due to the terrorist organization membership;

“The mayors, standing at attention, observed a moment of silence for the decedent terrorists and meanwhile sang the anthem of the terrorist organization used by the members of the terrorist organization frequently. 

"Our Ministry has immediately launched the necessary investigations on the afore-mentioned issues," the statement said.

"Pursuant to the principle of the integrity of the administration, all institutions under the State, including municipalities, have the obligation to act in accordance with the duties, responsibilities, and powers vested by the Constitution and laws. Without abiding by the powers and responsibilities that they are vested, institutions and/or persons arbitrarily undertake to act in line with the activities of the terrorist organization -- not for the public benefit -- under the guidance or orientation of other persons or groups and terrorist organizations. In case related issues fall into the remit of judiciary and administrative investigations, our Ministry shall fulfill its duties in accordance with the powers vested by the Constitution and the laws.

"In this regard; Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Mayor, Adnan Selcuk MIZRAKLI, within the scope of nine separate investigations and/or prosecutions conducted by the judicial authorities due to the offenses of ‘forming or commanding armed terrorist organization,’ ‘becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization,’ ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization’ and ‘praising an offense and offender’ and three separate investigations conducted by our Ministry;

“Mardin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Ahmet TURK, who was jailed pending trial due to the offence of ‘becoming a member of armed terrorist organization’ under the file, docket No. 2017/279, but was released on conditions of trial without arrest through the judicial control decision owing to his health problems, within the scope of total six separate investigations and/or prosecutions conducted by the judicial authorities apart from the aforementioned file due to the offenses of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’ ‘becoming a member of armed terrorist organization and deliberately and willfully aiding the terrorist organization,’ ‘becoming a member of an armed terrorist organization, misuse of public duty, forming and commanding the terrorist organization,’ and three separate investigations, conducted by our Ministry;

“Van Metropolitan Municipality Mayor, Bedia OZGOKCE ERTAN, within the scope of seven separate investigations and/or prosecutions conducted by the judicial authorities due to the offenses of ‘making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’ ‘praising an offense and offender, making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’ and ‘becoming a member of the armed terrorist organization, making propaganda for the terrorist organization,’ and three separate investigations, conducted by our Ministry have been suspended from their duties as an interim precaution for the safety of the judicial/administrative investigations/prosecutions pursuant to the Article 127 of the Constitution and the Article 57 of the Municipality Law.

"Pursuant to the Article 45 and 46 of the Municipality Law, the Governor of Diyarbakir Hasan Basri GUZELOGLU has been appointed as the acting metropolitan municipality mayor of Diyarbakir; the Governor of Mardin Mustafa YAMAN as the acting metropolitan municipality mayor of Mardin and the Governor of Van Mehmet Emin BILMEZ as the acting metropolitan municipality mayor of Van."

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