Turkish Deputy PM speaks out over arrest of city mayor

'No elected municipality board can have the right to support extremist groups,' says Numan Kurtulmus

Turkish Deputy PM speaks out over arrest of city mayor

World Bulletin / News Desk

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Thursday "no municipality has the right to support extremist groups".

Giving a speech during a ceremony to mark Ataturk University's new academic year in Turkey's eastern province of Erzurum, Kurtulmus said Diyarbakir mayor Gultan Kisanak was arrested because of allegations the southeastern city’s municipal resources were being transferred to the PKK.

"No elected municipality board can have the right to support extremist groups," said Kurtulmus.

Gulten Kisanak, a member of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), was taken into custody by officers from the Diyarbakir Security Directorate late on Tuesday.

Kisanak was arrested at the city’s airport as part of an inquiry into PKK extremism.

Firat Anli, another local elected official, was also arrested at his home as part of the same investigation. Both were taken to the city’s Security Directorate.

The Chief Prosecutor's Office in Diyarbakir said in a statement early Wednesday the mayor was arrested on charges of “being a member of an armed extremist group”.

"It has been understood that Gultan Kisanak called for autonomy and made remarks that are pro-extremist organization during Nevruz activities which were organized at the call of the PKK extremist group," the statement read.

"Upon evidence which shows Kisanak directed registered official vehicles to the funerals of extremist members, took part in unlawful meetings and demonstrations and made pro-PKK remarks, Kisanak has been arrested," it added.

Last Mod: 27 Ekim 2016, 18:53
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