Hakkari mayor suspended after detention over alleged terror ties

Hakkari mayor suspended after detention over alleged terror ties

Hakkari mayor suspended after detention over alleged terror ties

Hakkari Mayor Mehmet Sıddık Akış from the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) has been dismissed from his post following his apprehension as part of an investigation into his alleged ties with the PKK terrorist organization.

The police detained Akış in Van, another eastern province, late on June 2, with security teams conducting a search at the Hakkari Municipality premise early on June 3, local media reported.

Hakkari Governor’s Office announced a 10-day prohibition on demonstrations and gatherings following the report of the detention.

The Interior Ministry stated that Akış was actively involved in high-ranking positions within the PKK/KCK structure, conducting pseudo-interrogations and collecting so-called taxes on behalf of the terrorist organization.

He allegedly organized illegal marches and funerals for killed terrorists and exerted pressure on the public to participate in activities in support of the terror group, the ministry said in the written statement.

Akış was reported to have been involved in the neighborhood committees of the terrorist organization and was allegedly responsible for maintaining ties with rural areas, indoctrinating children with ideological rhetoric to recruit them into the organization, the ministry noted, adding that he provided assistance and shelter to terrorists arriving from rural areas to carry out attacks in urban centers.

According to the statement, Akış faces charges of "managing an armed terrorist organization," "being a member of an armed terrorist organization," and "making propaganda for the organization," with a case pending in a Hakkari court.

The ministry clarified that the dismissal was a temporary measure, appointing Hakkari Governor Ali Çelik as the acting mayor of the city.

Akış secured nearly 49 percent of the votes in the local elections held on March 31, becoming the new mayor of the province. The DEM Party is the successor to the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which faces closure due to alleged PKK links. PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States and the European Union.