Protests spread in Türkiye after ban of pro-Kurdish mayor

STORY: Hundreds of people took to the streets in Batman province to protest against the decision to replace Abdullah Zeydan of the pro-Kurdish DEM party with the mayoral candidate of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK party in Sunday’s (March 31) election. .

Protesters fired firecrackers at police, who sprayed them with water cannons, while dozens of security personnel were stationed around Hakkari, where protests also intensified.

Turkey has cracked down on the pro-Kurdish political movement since the 2015 collapse of a peace process to end a decades-long insurgency, accusing it of having links to Kurdish militants.

The movement denies the allegations, but has been devastated by thousands of arrests and its mayors were ousted and replaced by state officials after previous elections. Last year, DEM was formed to succeed a party that was facing possible closure in a trial over alleged links.

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