Turkey's president: replacing elected mayors 'overdue'

Turkey's president says the dismissal of 28 elected municipal and district mayors in several predominantly Kurdish towns in the country's east and southeast was overdue.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after prayers at the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday Monday that it should have been done earlier in line with his own wishes.

The removed officials, replaced by government-appointed deputy and district governors, are suspected of colluding with groups the Turkish government considers terrorist organizations.

Turkey's Interior Ministry said the decision was in line with the state of emergency decreed after the failed July 15 military coup attempt.