Dismissed Kurdish mayor arrested over terror charges in eastern Turkey

(Updates with detainment of Iğdır's HDP mayor)

A former pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) district mayor in Turkey’s eastern province of Muş was arrested on Sunday on charges of conducting terrorist propaganda, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency reported.

Casim Budak was removed from office as the mayor of the Altınova district on Friday, along with three other HDP mayors. The officials have been replaced with government-appointed trustees.

A Muş court ruled for the arrest of Budak following a statement the former mayor gave to the prosecutor's office.

On Friday, the HDP mayor the eastern province of Iğdır, Yaşar Akkuş, and HDP deputy, Eylem Çelik, were detained on terror charges, pro-nationalist news website Ulusal reported.

“May my smile trouble you,” Akkuş said on Twitter after he was taken into custody. 

The Turkish government accuses the HDP of harbouring sympathies and acting in the interest of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and has launched a crackdown on the group since a failed military coup in July 2016.

The HDP denies any links to the militant group.

A total of 45 out of 65 HDP mayors on in the country’s Kurdish-majority southeast region have been dismissed on terrorism charges since the local elections in March last year.