Turkish court rules to keep dismissed Kurdish mayor in jail

A Turkish court ruled on Wednesday against the release of southern province Diyarbakır’s former mayor in a trial over terror charges, Birgün newspaper reported.

Selçuk Mızraklı was removed from office on Aug. 19 alongside two other pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) mayors over links to terrorism.

He was arrested three days later after Turkish authorities accused him of being a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil for Kurdish self-rule.

Mızraklı faces a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Turkish authorities have replaced 32 HDP mayors since the March 31 local elections. Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has aggressively pursued HDP politicians over alleged links to the PKK, saying that they harbour sympathies and act in the interest of the outlawed group.