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Turkey Purges 28 Municipal Mayors Over Alleged Kurdish Militant Links

Turkey has removed local mayors believed to support Kurdish militants and appointed new administrators in 24 municipalities, mostly in the largely Kurdish southeast, a provincial governor’s office said on September 11.

The municipalities were run by local associates of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the Diyarbakir governor's office said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on September 8 that the campaign against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an armed group which Turkey considers a terrorist organization, was Turkey’s largest ever and the removal of civil servants was part of that effort.

Erdogan sees the HDP as an extension of the PKK. HDP denies any direct links to the PKK, saying that it promotes a negotiated settlement to the insurgency.

Meanwhile, Ankara continues its purge of tens of thousands of supporters of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey accuses Gulen of organizing the failed coup in July. Gulen denies any involvement.

Based on reporting by Reuters