The deputy mayor of the district of Seyhan in Turkey’s southern province of Adana was removed from her post on instructions by the Turkish ministry of the interior.
Deputy mayor Funda Buyruk was arrested in a dawn raid on her house on 27 June alongside over 35 members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and other Kurdish political activists. She was released later on Thursday after being held for 10 days in custody.
The interior ministry said that Buyruk should be suspended from her duty ‘for the sake of the ongoing investigation’ and in order to ‘prevent her from tampering with evidence’.
Removal of Buyruk marks a further move by Ankara to replace elected Kurdish officials with appointed public servants. Most of the mayors in Kurdish-majority cities and districts have already been removed by the Turkish interior ministry.
Seyhan is a district constituting the core of the Adana urban area, where a large Kurdish population live, and is home to 35 percent of the residents of the whole Adana province. It is also the fifth most populous metropolitan district in Turkey.
HDP received over 20 percent of the votes in Seyhan in 2018 general elections, and supported main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in 2019 local elections that resulted in a stunning victory for both parties. CHP received 58% of the votes in Seyhan against the 38% of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).