Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has said that those who expect the state to tolerate the presence of terrorism are “very mistaken.”
“It is also very wrong to expect the state, rules, law and the constitution to be silent against those trying to make terror and terrorism as the center at the municipalities with the public’s lawful votes,” Soylu said yesterday, speaking a day after three mayors in eastern and southeastern provinces were suspended for allegedly supporting terrorism.
“The state, law, democracy are all working and the process is functioning. Those who try to link terror and democracy through a legitimate channel are doing irresponsibility. The fundamental role of law and democracy is to not let terrorism exploit the pure votes cast by the people,” Soylu told reporters.
On Aug. 19, the Interior Ministry suspended the mayors of the Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van– Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Ahmet Türk and Bedia Özgökçe Ertan, respectively – with state-appointed provincial governors of the provinces temporarily replacing them.
The ministry said the mayors already face cases in which they stand accused of crimes such as establishing or spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization or terror group membership.
The ministry said the PKK “exerted heavy efforts to nominate candidates who would be easily led once they would be elected and would be under its guidance and orientation.”
The mayors “intended to convert the municipalities into an administrative structure separate from the whole country, they de facto employed the former municipal employees, who had been removed from their offices due to their engagement, affiliation and relation with the terrorist organization,” said the ministry.
Eight suspects detained in Istanbul for aiding PKK
Meanwhile, at least eight people were detained for their suspected links to the PKK in the megacity of Istanbul, state-run Anadolu Agency said, citing anonymous police sources.
Anti-terror squads held simultaneous operations in seven districts of the city, including Ataşehir, Kadıköy and Üsküdar, to apprehend the suspects, the agency said.
The suspects are accused of spreading terror propaganda, giving financial support to PKK and joining some activities of the outlawed group.
Some organizational documents, as well as various weapons and munitions, were also seized in the raids, the sources added.
Hurriyet Daily News