Turkey dismisses 14th Kurdish mayor over terror-related charges

Turkish authorities on Monday dismissed the mayor of Kızıltepe district in the southeastern province of Mardin over terror-related charges, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency reported.

Nilüfer Elik Yılmaz, a mayor for the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), was dismissed over three ongoing in which she is accused of being a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Mezopotamya said.

Yılmaz is the 14th HDP mayor to be dismissed and replaced with a government appointee since the local elections in March. 

Police are also investigating the HDP mayor’s social media posts, Mezopotamya’s report said.

Turkey's Interior Ministry handed over Yılmaz’s duties to the government-appointed district governor.

Turkish police blockaded the municipality building and prevented entry the night before the dismissal announcement.

The Turkish government has accused the HDP mayors dismissed this year of having links to the PKK, which has waged three-decades-long insurgency for Kurdish self-rule Turkey since 1984 and which Ankara considers a terrorist group.