Erdoğan to meet with mayors at Presidential Palace in Ankara

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has invited the mayors of 30 metropolitan cities to the Presidential Palace in the capital Ankara for a meeting on Wednesday.

The leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that CHP mayors of large cities will attend Wednesday’s meeting, independent news site T24 reported on Monday.

The Turkish president is expected to address the group.The invitation arrives following the ousting of three Kurdish opposition mayors from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in south-east Turkey over terrorism-related charges.

The dismissal of the mayors of Diyarbakir, Van and Mardin provinces in August was met with nation-wide protests and international condemnation.

Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu earlier this month threatened “to devastate” the CHP mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem İmamoğlu over his support for the dismissed Kurdish mayors, who were replaced by state officials less than five months after stepping into office.

Turkey’s ruling AKP lost five of the country’s most populous provinces in the March 31 local elections to the main opposition CHP, including the financial hub of Istanbul and the capital Ankara.