TUR ABDIN – Yesterday, Turkish authorities removed Yusuf Yar, a Syriac and member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), from his position as mayor of the Syriac village Arkah in the Tur Abdin region in southeast Turkey. Mayor Yar is one of four mayors who were stripped of their official powers yesterday. Yar is suspected of terrorism and has pending charges against him. Yar denied all changes when arrested last month.
According to SyriacPress sources on the ground in Tur Abdin, District Governor of Nusaybin Mehmet Balıkçilar summoned Yar, the Syriac mayor of the all-Syriac village of Arkah in Tur Abdin, to hand over his official stamps after the decision was made to strip him of his powers.
Yar was arrested last month on vague charges of terrorism. Two other Syriacs, Musa Tastekin and monk Sefer Aho Belican of the Mor Jacob Monastery, were also arrested on the same day. All were released within a week of their official arrest. Monk Belican is also charged with terrorism. His court case is set to being in March.
Pending the investigation on the terrorism charges, Yar’s position will we held by Deputy Mayor Sabri Altay.