Protests against usurpation of will in Van continue in many cities

After the voters' will was again violated in the Kurdish provincial capital of Van, angry protests broke out in dozens of cities in Turkey. The police used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets.

Protests continue in many cities in Turkey against the appointment of AKP politician Abdulahat Arvas as mayor of Van (Wan). There were street battles, injuries and arrests, and the police used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets.

In the local elections on Sunday, the AKP candidate achieved 27.1 percent of the votes in the provincial capital, clearly defeated by the DEM party's co-candidates, Abdullah Zeydan and Neslihan Şedal, who received 55.5 percent of the vote. The victory was strong, even despite thousands of non-local voters who were escorted to Van by the government to influence the results of the election in favor of the AKP.

The Kurdish politician Abdullah Zeydan was arbitrarily stripped of his civil rights by order of the Ministry of Justice, and the AKP candidate was given the mayoralty in his place.

State of emergency in Van

The DEM party said that the process was a political coup and called for protests. In a statement from the party executive committee, respect for the will of the voters was called for. After the last two local elections, the Erdoğan government had already suspended the democratically elected mayors in Kurdish cities and municipalities on trumped-up terror charges and replaced them by trustees; many of those elected ended up in prison.

In Van, thousands of people protested against the decision during the day and street barricades were set up. The police attacked the protests with a large contingent and, according to the DEM provincial association, the party building was stormed and fired at with tear gas grenades.

After breaking the fast in the evening, protests flared up again, with young people lighting fires in the streets and shouting slogans.

Protests in Hakkari

In Hakkari (Colemêrg), people demonstrated in the city center and the police deployed riot control units. AKP supporters shot into the air, and the demonstrators responded by throwing stones and fireworks.

Protests in Yüksekova

In Yüksekova (Gever), the birthplace of Abdullah Zeydan, young people also set up burning roadblocks and were attacked by police with gas canisters, plastic ammunition and water cannons.

Protests in Amed

During a protest by the DEM party in front of the electoral committee office in Amed, there was a call for resistance.

The elected co-mayor Serra Bucak explained that the Kurdish people showed their will on Sunday and that her party won the election in 78 cities and municipalities: "This destroyed all electoral intrigues. For this reason, less than 48 hours later, the government opposed the will of the people in Wan was put in a coup. The process is illegitimate and anti-democratic. For eight years, we have been resisting the forced administration regime, which exploits our towns and villages and ignores the will of the Kurdish people. We stand on the side of the people of Van, the whole of Kurdistan will not leave Van alone in this situation."

Protests in Batman 

People also took to the streets in Batman (Êlih).

Protests in Istanbul

People also protested in Istanbul where the AKP is also seeking recount in various municipalities won by the AKP.