Posted News: Sat, Feb 4th, 2017
Code News:493

Turkey releases veteran Kurdish politician, mayor

Turkish authorities on Friday decided to release the veteran Kurdish politician and dismissed co-mayor of the Mardin Province Ahmet Turk from pre-trial imprisonment about two and half months after his arrest.

Turk’s lawyer Zeynep Boztoprak broke the news on Twitter saying a court in Mardin accepted her demand to release her client.

The case of Turk who is 74-years-old and carries a chip implanted in his heart because of a previous cardiac failure had lately become an issue of contention between the government and its critics, especially the Kurdish opposition.

Boztoprak said Turk would not be allowed to travel abroad and have to appear three times a week at a local police station in Mardin, his city that elected him as its co-mayor in 2014 local elections.

She separately told Kurdistan24 that Turk was expected to be released from a prison in the Kurdish province of Elazig where he was being held.

Police arrested Turk in late November 2016 as a part of an ongoing trial of hundreds of Kurdish politicians accused of membership in the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella political organization affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Turkish Interior Ministry seized the administration of Turk’s provincial municipality after sacking him and the other co-mayor Februniye Altun several days before his arrest, in a string of operations that has targeted more than 70 mayors of Kurdish towns and cities.

The Ankara-appointed Turkish governor Mustafa Yaman currently runs the Mardin Municipality as a trustee.

The widely-respected 74-year-old Turk, whose last name was given by the young Turkish Republic’s authorities after the introduction of the 1934 “Surname Law,” had served six times as a lawmaker for Mardin at the Turkish Parliament.

Turk was one of the thousands of Kurdish political prisoners who were subjected to systematic brutal torture in the infamous Diyarbakir Prison after the 1980 military coup d’etat.