Erdoğan signals increase to state-appointed administrators in Southeast ahead of local elections

The Turkish President Recep Erdoğan sent a warning to the country’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) ahead of the country’s 2019 municipal elections that any candidate ''affiliated'' with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) would be replaced by Ankara, independent news site T24 reported.

The government of Erdoğan has removed from office more than 80 of the 103.elected mayors representing the HDP and replaced them with government-appointed administrators, also known as ‘’kayyum’’  as part of a crackdown on the HDP for its alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group at war in Turkey for over 30 years, following the July 2016 coup attempt.

While vowing to do away with Turkey’s terror problem, Erdoğan said, ‘’the municipal elections are approaching. If [the names of] people who are associated with terror emerge from the ballot boxes once again, we will do what's necessary and assign state-appointed administrators immediately.’’

The HDP surprassed the electoral threshold of 10 percent in the June parliamentary elections, receiving 10.76 percent support and winning 59 seats.

The pro-Kurdish party, which is accused by Ankara of harbouring sympathies for and supporting the PKK, is expected to fare well in the upcoming elections in Turkey’s Kurdish-dominant Southeast.