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Turkey continues to oust Kurdish mayors, replace with trustees

Four mayors have been detained in Turkey's Kurdish-majority southeast, the latest in ongoing efforts by the government to suppress Kurdish political participation in the country.
Co-leaders of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Pervin Buldan (L) and Sezai Temelli speak on stage during a meeting in Ankara, on November 20, 2019 - Turkey's main pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) will discuss in Ankara a possible withdrawal from parliament in response to the crackdown against it. In recent weeks, several mayors in the southeast have been sacked or detained. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo by ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Turkish authorities detained four more popularly elected mayors in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeast today, part of an ongoing campaign against the Kurdish-friendly People's Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest party in the Turkish parliament. A fifth mayor was also fired but not detained.

The mayors were hauled away from their homes, stripped of office and replaced with government-appointed trustees, a pattern that has been repeated across the Kurdish-dominated region before and since the nationwide municipal elections in March 2019. 

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