ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish media reports say police have used water cannons to disperse crowds protesting a government decision to oust three elected mayors in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish-populated southeast and replace them with government appointees.
The private DHA news agency said at least 30 people were detained in the city of Diyarbakir Wednesday, on the third day of protests over the mayors’ dismissal.
The government removed the mayors of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van from office over alleged links to militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, citing ongoing investigations or trials against them.
The mayors, members of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, or HDP, were elected into office in local elections in March.
The PKK is considered a terror organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.