Istanbul opposition deputy mayor remanded in custody for terror links

The deputy mayor of Istanbul’s Şişli district has been remanded in custody on terrorism charges, state-run Anadolu Agency said on Thursday.

Cihan Yavuz of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) was among 17 people detained last week accused of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK),

Four of those held, including Yavuz, have now been charged with “membership of a terrorist organisation”, Anadolu said.

Police operations against political figures have largely targeted the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including sweeping detentions late last month. 

But officials from other political parties have also been increasingly caught up in the crackdown. The CHP’s mayor for Izmir’s Urla district, İbrahim Burak Oğuz, was arrested on terrorism charges in December 2019. 

CHP member of parliament Enis Berberoğlu was stripped of his seat in the national assembly in June alongside HDP colleagues Leyla Güven and Musa Farisoğulları following criminal convictions, a move opponents say was politically motivated.