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Turkey purges only Christian mayor in coup crackdown

by Antony Bushfield

Februniye Akyol has been removed from her role as co-mayor in the city of Merdin. She was the only Christian to hold office in one of Turkey's 30 metropolitan municipalities.

The 27-year-old was elected in 2014 on the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) ticket.

In July the Turkish government said a bid by the military to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had failed.

At least 90 people were killed, with 1,154 reportedly injured, following a night of gunfire and explosions in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.

In a statement, the Turkish Embassy said: "The situation unfolded in Turkey was a coup attempt to overthrow the democratically-elected government.

"This attempt was foiled by the Turkish people in unity and solidarity. Our president and government are in charge."

After the coup attempt the government started a crackdown on what it claimed were people provoking dissent.

Hundreds have been sacked as civil servants while the government has also deposed local elected officials and replaced them with temporary officials.

More than 30 mayors have been fired so far amid claims they have links with the Kurdish PKK party.

At the time of the failed coup some Turkish media reported it was an attempt by Christians to take over the country.

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