Turkey’s Erdoğan hints at further mayoral dismissals

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in addition to the mayors of three southeastern cities removed from office last week, other cases involving mayors’ possible terror links would be addressed in parliament in the coming days, independent news site Bianet reported on Thursday.

Turkey last week dismissed the mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin, and Van, all of whom had been elected in March for the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), for suspected terror links and replaced them with appointees. 

Speaking to reporters during his return flight from Moscow on Tuesday evening, Erdoğan said he had ordered the Minister of Justice to begin work to prevent any future election of terror-linked mayors.

“Whether the candidates have committed any crime and whether there are reasons to cancel their candidacy should be investigated before (elections), starting from neighbourhoods and continuing in districts and provinces,” Bianet quoted Erdoğan as saying. 

“Apart from those, you will see if God permits that the moment the Parliament opens, there will be many cases before us,” Erdoğan said referring to already dismissed mayors. “All of those cases will be examined. And then the parliament will make the necessary decision.” 

Turkish parliament re-opens on Sept. 9.