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Turkey Detains Ousted Kurdish Co-mayor

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Turkish security forces on Tuesday detained the dismissed co-mayor of the Kurdish city of Batman, Mehmet Demir.

The Kurdish politician from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) was taken into custody while leaving his party’s office in Batman.

Demir is facing charges as part of an investigation that was launched by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on October 9, 2018. He is accused of links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is designated by Ankara as a “terrorist organization”.

Demir was previously detained on March 23, 2020, and was ousted from his post by the ministry of interior under the pretext that he was being investigated for membership in a terrorist organization, dissemination of terrorist propaganda and inciting animosity among society.

In the local elections of March 31, 2019, Demir was elected mayor of the predominantly Kurdish city of Batman after gaining 66 percent of the votes, however, he was replaced with a state trustee after Turkish interior ministry dismissed him.
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