Van mayor, district mayors detained in KCK operation

The mayors of numerous districts in the eastern province of Van are in police custody »»

The mayors of numerous districts in the eastern province of Van are in police custody after an early raid on Thursday.

Van Mayor Bekir Kaya, who is a member of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), and several district mayors have been detained as part of an operation investigating the urban branches of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organization that encompasses the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and other related organizations.

On Thursday morning, police raided a number of houses, businesses and offices, including Kaya's house, as part of an investigation into the KCK organization, headed by a Van specially authorized deputy public prosecutor.

BDP deputy Aysel Tuğluk accompanied Kaya when police took him to his office at the municipality for a search. In addition, Muradiye Mayor İzzet Çelik, Başkale Mayor Hecer Sarıhan and Özalp Mayor Murat Durmaz were also detained as part of the investigation.

On Wednesday, dozens, including doctors, nurses and medical students, were detained in a number of provinces across the country, including Ankara, as part of the KCK investigation.

The operations, which were carried out by the Ankara Police Department's Counterterrorism Unit, took place in Diyarbakır, İstanbul, Batman, Mardin, Adana and Eskişehir. Twenty-six suspects from the medical students' branch of the Turkish Doctors' Union (TTB) were detained in Ankara. They were taken to the Ankara Police Department for interrogation.

Police conducted the operation as a consequence of a year-long investigation. Detained doctors face charges of bringing medical supplies and equipment to the terrorist organization. Additionally, doctors are accused of treating wounded PKK terrorists in rural areas. The most striking charge is that they have formed a parallel health organization to that of the state in southeastern Turkey.



Columnist: TODAY'S ZAMAN