Protesters fired firecrackers at police, who sprayed them with water cannons, while scores of security personnel were stationed around Hakkari, where protests also took hold.

Turkey has cracked down on the pro-Kurdish political movement since the 2015 collapse of a peace process to end a decades-old insurgency, accusing it of ties to Kurdish militants.

The movement denies the accusations but it has been ravaged by thousands of arrests and its mayors were ousted and replaced by state officials after previous elections. Last year DEM was formed to succeed a party facing potential closure in a trial over such alleged links.