Turkey detains 5 more Kurdish mayors over terror-link accusations

Soldiers walk at the empty mausoleum of the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Ankara on March 23, 2020, as part of measures taken to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus. (AFP)
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Updated 24 March 2020

Turkey detains 5 more Kurdish mayors over terror-link accusations

  • During 2019, more than 20 mayors, all from the HDP, were removed from their posts by Turkish authorities over their alleged ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party

ANKARA: Five Turkish mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the southeast of the country were on Monday detained on suspicion of having links to terrorism.
Civic leaders of HDP-run Batman municipality and municipalities in Diyarbakir’s Ergani, Lice, Silvan and Egil districts were held as part of a police anti-terror probe, with the Turkish Ministry of the Interior appointing trustees to their offices.
The municipality of Batman had been recently praised for its measures to deal with the COVID-19 disease, which included postponing water bill payments.
Erkan Senses, a human rights lawyer, said: “A trustee is appointed to my hometown of Batman. The votes of 120,000 citizens were just ignored by a single signature of an appointed minister.
“I call on the government to respect an elected authority and stop appointing trustees. There is an urgent need to hold a re-election in the municipalities where trustees were appointed.”

BACKGROUND

During 2019, more than 20 mayors, all from the HDP, were removed from their posts by Turkish authorities over their alleged ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

During 2019, more than 20 mayors, all from the HDP, were removed from their posts by Turkish authorities over their alleged ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Among them, the mayors of Mardin, Van and Diyarbakir, all key Kurdish cities, were replaced by government-appointed trustees.

Last year’s move against the officials came just after the mayors had won local elections in March, sparking criticism about the political motivations behind it and whether they intended to cancel the results of the local elections in the region. The HDP won 65 municipalities in east and southeastern Turkey in the March ballots.
Adnan Selcuk Mizrakli, former mayor of Diyarbakir province, recently received a nine-year jail sentence on charges related to terrorism.
In February, the Turkish Ministry of the Interior also suspended Vefa Salman, the main opposition mayor of Yalova in northwestern Turkey, over accusations of fraud and corruption.

 


UAE gives employers options over workers as coronavirus takes toll on business

Updated 17 min 13 sec ago

UAE gives employers options over workers as coronavirus takes toll on business

DUBAI: The UAE has offered private companies, who are either facing excess or shortage of labor, several options to cope with safety measures the government has implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In light of the current situation and upon agreement of both parties; it is permissible to temporarily modify work contracts during the ongoing precautionary measures,” the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said in a statement.

A worker is also entitled, in agreement with the private employer, to unpaid leave should the business suspend its operations while the government’s precautionary measures remain in place.

Surplus workers meanwhile have to be registered on the Virtual Labor Market to avail of job opportunities outside an employee’s company, but must maintain ‘compliance with contractual commitments until the transfer to the other establishment is completed, the ministry said.

Temporary contracting has also been allowed by the UAE government throughout the recruitment of surplus workers from other companies, either as temporary transfers or part-time work.

The ministry likewise issued a guidance for private employers who have UAE nationals in their workforce, among which notifying them to of the agency’s commitment to “develop supportive bundles to ensure the continuation of nationals in the labor market.”

The ministry will also supervise and monitor the implementation of Ministerial Decree No. 212 of 2018, which involves the private-sector participation and job security UAE nationals.

On cases of job termination of UAE nationals that are lodged at Tatween Customer Happiness Centers, the ministry said they would evaluate those and present recommendations whether the concerned individuals would retain their positions or would be given opportunity with another employer.