Turkish trustee removes Armenian language from Derik Municipality signboard
Kurdistan24 – A Turkish government-appointed trustee to the Municipality of Derik in the Kurdish province of Mardin removed the Armenian language from a multilingual signboard on the municipal building.
The Municipality’s sign used to be in Kurdish, Turkish, and Armenian before the weekend government seizure.
Derik is a population center of 20,000 people whose municipality, alongside 27 others mostly in the Kurdish region, was seized with a decree by the Turkish government on Sunday.
Before the early 20th century Armenian Genocide during the last years of the Ottoman Empire, Derik had a sizeable Armenian population, according to the Derik Municipality website.
The government appointed the town’s sub-governor as a trustee to run municipal affairs.
The elected mayor Sabahat Cetinkaya, who received 65 percent of votes in her hometown in the 2014 local elections, was arrested in February 2016 and subsequently removed from her post by the Interior Ministry.
Charged with accusations of terrorism, Cetinkaya of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) remains in detention to this day.
Earlier this week, another government-appointed trustee removed a bilingual Turkish and Kurdish signboard, leaving only the Turkish name on the Giyadin Municipality in the province of Agiri.
After strong reactions from the public, Kurdish was reinstalled upon an order by Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.