Over 80 pct of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP municipalities seized by gov't - report

The Turkish government is pursuing a “coup policy’’ in the country’s Kurdish majority east and southeast, where 81 percent of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) municipalities have been seized by the ruling party since 2016, a HDP report published on Tuesday said.

A total of 51 of Turkey’s 63 HDP-won municipalities have been seized by the Turkish government over the last year, while a total 146 state-appointed officials have been assigned to HDP municipalities over the last four years, Birgün cited the report as saying.

The government accuses the HDP of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for almost 40 years. Since the failed coup attempt of 2016, Ankara has intensified a crackdown on the group, detaining at least 20 HDP mayors and taking over municipalities run by the pro-Kurdish party.

“(Turkish President Recep) Tayyip Erdoğan is a putschist,’’ HDP co-chair Garo Paylan, who shared the report, said. “The will of the people is currently under arrest. Our co mayors, members of city council and elected officials are unable to do their jobs. We demand they are returned to their posts.’’

Former HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ are among the leading party officials who have been behind bars since 2016 on terror charges as part of a government crackdown.