Turkey: Mayors arrested over alleged terror links

By Halil Ibrahim Sincar

MARDIN, Turkey (AA) – Four mayors, along with 20 municipal officials, were arrested in Turkey's southeastern provinces due to their suspected links to a terror group, judicial sources said Friday.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)'s mayors Gulistan Oncu in Savur, Mulkiye Esmez in Derik, Nalan Ozaydin in Mazidagi districts of Mardin, Hatice Cevik in Suruc district of Sanliurfa and 20 other municipal officials were arrested as part of ongoing terrorism investigations, provincial prosecutors said.

In mid-August, mayors in Diyarbakir, Mardin, and Van provinces were suspended over alleged terror links. They all were from the HDP, which Turkey's government accuses of having links to the PKK terror group.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur