Turkish police detain three district HDP mayors in eastern province

Police in Turkey detained three mayors of the mainly Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in the eastern province of Van on Friday, Hürriyet daily reported

The mayors of Muradiye, Özalp and Başkale districts were detained over membership of a terrorist organisation and making terrorist propaganda, it said. 

The Turkish government accuses the HDP of harbouring sympathies to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an armed group which has been fighting in Turkey for Kurdish autonomy for more than 30 years. 

Since the collapse of a peace process between the government and the PKK in 2015, 16,300 HDP members have been detained and 3,500 of those have been imprisoned, according to the HDP. 

The authorities have dismissed 24 out of the 65 mayors who were elected from the HDP in the March local election in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority regions and replaced them with government-appointed mayors.