“We have run and are currently running the largest operations against the PKK terrorist organisation in ist history, both within and across our borders,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan has dubbed DBP an extension of the PKK. The party is the regional partner of the national Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

However, the local governor of the area denied the takeover, according to the Anadolu Agency and the private news agency Dogan.

“Reports of the taking over of two mayor’s offices in Diyarbakir do not reflect the truth. There has not been such an appointment at this stage. If there is an appointment, a statement will be made,” the official said in a statement.

On Thursday, he said the removal of civil servants with links to the terror group was a key element in purging the terrorists. He also said Turkey would continue its offensive in northern Syria, where Kurdish militants have gained a stronghold, having fended off rebel forces and the “Islamic State.”

“The individuals in question are temporarily suspended – placed on leave – pending formal investigation,” an official told AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

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