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17 detained in Ankara during protests over removal of Kurdish mayors

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Police on Thursday detained 17 people who took part in a demonstration in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara in protest of a recent decision by the Turkish government to remove three elected Kurdish mayors from office, Turkish media reports said.

In a controversial move on Monday, the Interior Ministry removed the mayors of Mardin, Van and Diyarbakır in southeastern Turkey, claiming they had links to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The mayors were elected from the ranks of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the March 31 local elections.

Police intervened during the demonstration and detained 17 protestors who had gathered in front of the HDP’s Mamak district office to speak out against the removal of the mayors.

The detentions reportedly took place because the Ankara Governor’s Office has banned all demonstrations, marches and press statement releases in public venues.

In the meantime, police in İzmir detained 26 lawyers and one journalist during a similar protest earlier on Thursday.

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