Published by Hürriyet Daily News, 20/09/2015

BATMAN – Doğan News Agency






As many as 85 officials from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Democratic Unity Party (DBP), including the mayor of the southeastern province of Batman and his deputy, have been detained after they attempted to enter a military security zone in Batman’s Sason district.

Batman Mayor Sabri Özdemir, deputy mayor Gülistan Akel and HDP Batman provincial head Rojda Sürücü along with others were detained by gendarmerie forces on Sept. 19 after they attempted to enter a military security zone where an outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant was killed in Sason’s Kelhasan village on Sept. 19.

Among the 85 detained were Beşiri district Mayor Mustafa Öztürk, Gercüş district Mayor Abdulkerim Kaya, İki Köprü town Mayor Osman Karabulut, Batman Municipality Assembly President Salih Altun and DBP Batman provincial head Mehmet Candemir.

Behçet Kara, a resident of Kelhasan, where a military-imposed curfew is in effect, said residents of the village wanted the curfew to be lifted and they hoped for to return to normalcy.

“We wish for peace and democracy,” Kara added.

Some of the people detained were on a minibus heading to Sason when it was stopped at a checkpoint placed by the Yanıkkaya Gendarmerie Command to deny entry to the district.

Soldiers gave chairs to the women who got off the minibus when the weather became hot.

Turkey has seen a rise in violence with a spate of terrorist acts in recent months that have left scores dead and injured.

The Turkish military has declared a large number of areas in the country’s eastern and southeastern provinces as “military security zones” in a preemptive action against violent attacks.