Police detained the mayor of the eastern Turkish city of Van on Thursday, security sources said, a day after arresting two other regional mayors in a crackdown on politicians. Van Governor İbrahim Taşyapan has been appointed to the mayorship of the province.
The Democratic Regions Party (DBP) mayor of the city, Bekir Kaya, was detained early on Thursday along with four other municipal officials, as the Interior Ministry also announced that it had suspended from duty the DBP mayors of Mardin and Siirt, Ahmet Türk and Tuncer Bakırhan respectively.
Türk and Bakırhan have been replaced by Interior Ministry officials. Bakırhan was detained and arrested on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the mayor of the eastern city of Tunceli was also arrested on Nov. 17, after being detained on Wednesday as part of an anti-terror investigation. Mehmet Ali Bul was also from from the DBP, a sister party of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Police searched his home and his municipality office, and arrested him along with 13 others on the orders of the Tunceli Prosecutor’s Office. All but one have been remanded pending trial.
Earlier this month, 13 lawmakers from the HDP were arrested. Ten, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, remain under arrest awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.
In October, the DBP co-mayors from Diyarbakır, the largest city in the southeast, were arrested and jailed pending trial on terrorism charges.