Erdoğan replaces governors in more than half of Turkey’s provinces

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appointed new governors in 41 of Turkey's 81 provinces on Wednesday, according to a presidential decree published in the Official Gazette.

Twenty-three governors were shuffled between provinces and 18 were newly appointed, Erdoğan said. As part of the decree, 17 former governors were appointed as chief civil inspectors and one was appointed as a top advisor to Erdoğan.

The Turkish government has been harshly criticised for its crackdown on municipalities run by pro-Kurdish opposition mayors in the country’s predominantly Kurdish southeast. Turkish authorities have been removing elected Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) politicians from local administrations and replacing them with government appointees. Government trustees have taken over 45 of 65 pro-Kurdish municipal governments since the March 2019 local elections.

Governors of the eastern provinces of Siirt, Iğdır, Mardin and Diyarbakır, who were also appointed as mayors after dismissals of HDP mayors, were among those replaced.