Turkey replaces another detained mayor in Kurdish-majority Diyarbakır

District Governor Abdullah Çiftçi has replaced Mayor Filiz Buluttekin from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the southeastern hub Diyarbakır’s Sur district, a statement from the governor’s office announced on Saturday.

Filiz Buluttekin was removed from office due to ongoing legal proceedings and her detention as part of an investigation, the statement said.

Police had detained Buluttekin on Friday on suspicion of links to and activities in support of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The investigation includes Buluttekin’s attendance to the funeral of a PKK member as evidence against her.

Filiz Buluttekin was the fourth HDP district mayor to be dismissed and replaced by government-appointed proxies this week, and the 32nd HDP mayor to be replaced since the March 31 local elections.

The government has appointed replacements in seven of the 14 districts HDP won in Diyarbakır, out of the province’s total of 17, since the elections. 

The Sur district had suffered extensive damages in the urban clashes that erupted after Turkey’s peace process with the PKK collapsed in 2015. Nearly half of the district was demolished and cleared of residents, and the curfew declared during the clashes of 2015 and 2016 remains in effect in parts of the district.