Three ousted mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who were recently arrested on terror-related charges have been transferred from Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir to central Kayseri.
The pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency (MA) reported on Sunday that the politicians were moved from Diyarbakir to Kayseri at around 5 am on Saturday without any apparent reason being stated to them. Diyarbakir Metropolitan co-mayor Selcuk Mizrakli, Kayapinar District mayor Keziban Yilmaz and Kocakoy District mayor Rojda Nazlier were arrested as part of a terror investigation on October 22, after being dismissed from their posts by the Interior Ministry on terror-related accusations.
Pro-Kurdish MA said, quoting the attorneys of the co-mayors, that mayor Mizrakli was reportedly sent from Diyarbakir Type-D Closed Prison to Kayseri Closed Prison while Yilmaz and Nazlier were transferred from Diyarbakir Women’s Closed Prison to Kayseri Women’s Closed Prison.
The Central Anatolian province of Kayseri is roughly 600 km (372 miles) away from the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, which is predominantly Kurdish populated.
The crackdown on the Kurdish political movement in Turkey recently gathered momentum after Ankara launched a military operation on October 9 in northern Syria, targeting Syrian Kurdish militia that it believes is linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The Turkish government regards the PKK, which is an armed insurgent group fighting for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast for more than three decades, a terrorist organization.
Although HDP denies any links to the outlawed PKK, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described the pro-Kurdish party, which is the only one in parliament opposing the country’s incursion into Syria, as the “political extension” of the militant group.