World Bulletin / News Desk
Bekir Kaya from the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) and four other municipal officials were arrested Thursday for offenses of “knowingly and willfully” assisting the PKK organization.
He is the latest elected official from the east and southeast to be remanded on charges relating to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.
The mayors of other provincial capitals -- Tunceli, Mardin and Diyarbakir, the southeast’s largest city -- have also been jailed in recent weeks to face PKK-related charges. Along with the mayor of Siirt, they have all been suspended from office and replaced by provincial officials.
The DBP is the sister party of the national opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Earlier this month, 13 HDP lawmakers were arrested. Ten, including co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, remain in custody awaiting trial for terrorism-related offenses.
The PKK resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year and has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,100 security force members and civilians, including women and children. Around 10,000 PKK have been killed or apprehended in the same period.