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Fury erupts after mayors detained in Turkey's Kurdish southeast

The Turkish authorities have arrested both co-mayors of Diyarbakir, Gultan Kisanak and Firat Anli, sparking massive protests that the press is having trouble covering after internet access was cut across the city.
Gultan Kisanak, then-co-chair of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), speaks during a news conference in Istanbul March 14, 2013. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo - RTX2QFQS

A common refrain among Turkey watchers these days is that just when you think things can’t any worse, they do. On Oct. 25, Turkish authorities detained Gultan Kisanak, the co-mayor of Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast region on thinly supported charges of being a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Her co-mayor Firat Anli was also detained, joining thousands of other Kurdish activists and politicians who are being held for alleged links to the PKK.

The move sparked widespread fury in Diyarbakir, where according to eyewitnesses contacted by Al-Monitor, several thousand demonstrators massed before the Diyarbakir city hall on Oct. 26 demanding the mayors’ release.

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