Four detained in protest over dismissed Kurdish mayor in Turkey’s southeast

Four people were detained and several people, including a former mayor from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), were injured during a protest against the dismissal of the elected mayor in Turkey’s southeastern town of Cizre.

Turkish authorities earlier on Monday dismissed Mehmet Zırığ, the mayor of Cizre district in the Şırnak province citing terror-related charges. A government-appointed district governor was assigned in Zırığ’s place.

Police formed a barricade around a group of HDP supporters preparing to release a statement in front of the municipal headquarters over Zırığ’s dismissal, left-wing news site Duvar reported.

A total of four people, including local HDP officials, were detained when a clash broke out between police forces and protesters, it said. 

The ousted mayor of Cizre, Zırığ, and HDP Şırnak lawmaker Nuran İmir were among those injured in the skirmish.

Numerous mayors from Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP have been dismissed from Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish regions since the March 31 local elections this year over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for over three decades and is considered a terrorist group by the Turkish government.