Turkey ousts 28 mayors under post-coup emergency

Istanbul—Turkey on Sunday removed 28 mayors accused of links to Kurdish militants or US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, using emergency powers to replace them with state-appointed trustees in a move that sparked accusations of trampling on democracy.
The mayors have been suspended from their posts on suspicion of links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which is waging a deadly insurgency in the southeast, or Gulen, who is blamed for the July 15 failed coup, an interior ministry statement said.
Using special powers under the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the abortive putsch, they have been replaced by state-appointed trustees, similar to administrators appointed to head a company that goes into bankruptcy.
Twenty-four of the outgoing mayors are accused of links to the PKK and four of links to Gulen, the ministry said. The reclusive cleric denies charges of masterminding the coup. The move is the most important step yet taken by new Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu since he took over from Efkan Ala in a surprise reshuffle earlier this month.— AFP

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