Protests erupt in Turkey's southeast after mayor's arrest

November 17, 2016 12:56

Turkish police fired teargas and water cannon at activists protesting the arrest of the mayor of southeastern city of Van on Thursday.

State-run Anadolu Agency said police detained Van mayor Bekir Kaya at the council offices in the city on the shores of Lake Van, the heart of a province with a population of 1.1 million.

Police searched municipality offices and the houses of Kaya and four other council officials, Anadolu reported. Kaya was sentenced to 15 years in jail in January on a charge of "terror group membership", the agency said, but was appealing the verdict.

It said the interior ministry appointed Van Governor Ibrahim Tasyapan to run the municipality in place of Kaya, who is from the sister party of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), parliament's second biggest opposition party.

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