The mayor of the Edremit district in the southeastern Turkish province of Van was arrested on Monday over charges of disrupting unity and territorial integrity of the state.
Mayor Sevil Rojbin Cetin, who is from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which is alleged to have associations with the PKK terrorist group, was detained along with a worker at the district municipality as part of an investigation launched by the Chief Prosecution Office of Van. Both were sent to court after questioning.
Cetin was arrested by the court over the mentioned charges while the municipality worker was released on condition of judicial controls.
The number of mayors and municipality mayors arrested increased to five with the arrest of Cetin.
The recent discovery of explosives and arms in a truck belonging to the HDP municipality in Van presented further evidence towards increasing suspicions regarding HDP’s role in terror attacks by the outlawed PKK.
After Turkey’s general election on June 7, in which the HDP entered the parliament for the first time, the PKK’s umbrella organisation, the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), issued a statement on July 11 declaring that its truce with the Turkish government has ended and threatened Turkey with further attacks.
On Sunday, eight suspects including five district mayors in the southern province of Hakkari were detained and then arrested following declaring “autonomy” in their regions.
Hakkari co-mayors Dilek Hatipoglu and Nurullah Ciftci from the HDP were arrested after standing trial over threatening the unity.
In the past week, mayors of Sur and Silvan districts of southeastern province of Diyarbakir were arrested after making declarations regarding “autonomy” after which the Chief Prosecution Office of Diyarbakir launched an investigation.
Sur district mayor Seyid Narin and Silvan district mayor Yuksel Bodakci were arrested with charges of disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state along with five others from Democratic Regions Party (DRP).
DRP branches off from HDP and is responsible for local organisation while HDP is active on the national political scene.
DRP provincial leadership in Diyarbakir called on its supporters to close businesses on Wednesday in order to protest the state decisions on curfews in the Silvan and Lice districts which witnessed intense clashes between the security officers and PKK terrorists.
On Aug. 24, the Office of Chief Prosecution in Ankara issued arrest warrant in absentia for 49 members of the outlawed PKK over charges of disrupting the unity of the country.
“The armed terrorist organisation envisions to establish a Kurdish state covering areas in Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey’s soil. The organisation carries violent armed attacks in order to achieve their purpose and those issued arrest warrant in absentia are administrators of the illegal group,” the prosecution said.
A report released by the Diyarbakir Directorate of Police informed that the police force seized 121 guns, two rocket launchers, 346 bombs of which 336 of them were handmade, 337 molotov cocktails, 241 fireworks in addition to organisational documents that are considered an offence, in raids conducted between July 20 and Aug. 23.