Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Local democracy - 02.11.2016

CEMR secretary general requests clarification on arrest of Turkish mayors
Over 30 mayors in Turkey have recently been dismissed and replaced by central government officials, and some arrested. This issue has raised attention among local government associations in Europe, who asked CEMR secretary general, Frédéric Vallier, to relay their concerns about this situation.

In a letter addressed to the secretary general of the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, Hayrettin Güngör, Frédéric Vallier asked him to “relay our concerns and request for detailed information to the Turkish Government to provide explanations for the arrest of democratically elected officials […] and their replacement by unelected officials appointed by the central government.”

Stressing the worrying aspect of the situation, Mr Vallier added: “The latest developments in Turkey have understandably arisen our utmost concern. They are against the core principles of the European Charter of Local Autonomy and the essence of local democracy.”

In the letter, Frédéric Vallier specifically showed his concern about the arrest of the Co-mayors of Diyarbakir on 30 October, “one of whom, Gültan Kışanak, is an active member of UCLG, our world organisation.”

On behalf of European local government associations, Frédéric Vallier also expressed his solidarity to his colleagues in Turkey. 
Background info:

This issue was discussed during the CEMR secretaries general and directors meeting in Budapest on 27-28 October, where all European local government associations agreed to ask CEMR secretary general, Frédéric Vallier, to relay their concerns.
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