Turkey has replaced 28 elected municipal and district mayors suspected of colluding with groups the government considers terrorist organizations.

The Interior Ministry announced Sunday that 24 of the officials removed from their posts are suspected of ties with Kurdish militants. The other four are thought to be linked to the movement allegedly responsible for an attempted coup in July.

The mayors have been replaced by Ankara-appointed deputy and district governors.

The ministry said in a statement that when local governments "come under the influence of terrorist organizations, it is the state's primary duty to take precautions against those who have usurped the people's will."

Opponents of the move are planning protests, and security forces have taken positions outside the affected municipal offices.