Mayor linked to terror probe arrested in eastern Turkey
Police source says arrest of Halfeti Mayor Mustafa Bayram is part of anti-terrorism investigation
The mayor of southeastern Turkey’s Halfeti district of Sanliurfa province was arrested Friday as part of an anti-terrorism investigation, a police source said.
Teams from Sanliurfa Police Department’s anti-terror unit arrested Mustafa Bayram as part of an anti-PKK probe, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
The mayor is a member of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP).
Police teams also searched the area’s main municipal office. The police also said there were arrest warrants for 24 people in the ongoing operation.
On Nov. 24, the mayor of Turkey’s eastern Bitlis city, Mayor Huseyin Olan as well as Nevin Dasdemir Dagkiran, an alderman in the municipality, were arrested.
Earlier in November, the mayor of Tunceli, Mehmet Ali Bul, Van Mayor Bekir Kaya from the DBP and four other municipality officials were arrested.
On Nov. 21, two suspended mayors, Ahmet Turk from Mardin province and Emin Irmak from the province’s Artuklu district, were detained.
Also last month, 13 lawmakers from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were arrested. Ten, including co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, remain in custody awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.
In October, the DBP co-mayors of Diyarbakir, the largest city in the southeast, were arrested and jailed pending trial on terrorism charges.
The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July last year and has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,100 security force members and civilians, including women and children.