HDP Gever District co-chair Akdoğan: The AKP-MHP government has turned Gever into an open prison

HDP Gever District co-chair, Abdulkerim Akdoğan, said that the AKP-MHP government has turned Gever into an open prison.

A curfew was declared between 13 March and 31 October 2016 in Gever (Yüksekova) district of Hakkari. It's been 5 years since the 79-day ban. More than 5,000 homes and businesses were destroyed and tens of thousands of people displaced during the ban. After the Turkish state demolished Gever, it is now changing the demographics of the region, on one hand, and promoting prostitution and drugs on the other.

HDP Gever District co-chair, Abdulkerim Akdoğan, talked to ANF about the special policies of the Turkish state and its pressure on society.

Akdoğan said that the AKP did not tolerate the victory of the HDP at the elections of 7 June 2015 and therefore targeted the cities and districts that were the strongholds of the party, resorting to violence and war. Akdoğan recalled that after Gever was destroyed by the state in 2016, and added that "the state wants to starve our people, but our people only want peace, equality and freedom.”

Akdoğan said: “We are always among the people and the people always say that no matter how full our stomachs are, if there is no law and freedom, there will never be peace in the region. Special policies are implemented against the people of Gever. They want to starve people and get them close to them. In this context, they are changing the demographic structure of the district."

Stating that the bans in the region tied the hands and arms of the people, Akdoğan added: "Since 2017, 80 percent of our province has been under curfew allegedly because of military operation and security. All areas without housing and buildings are off limits. People cannot go to their own region. They cannot go to their villages and highlands. You can visit them only with permission. If you have a residence, you can take your belongings with you according to a determined quota. This ban has been going on for 4 years and people cannot collect wood or do farming. People say that they turned Gever into an open prison. But the people never bowed to these policies."

Emphasizing that the bans in Gever are unlawful, Akdoğan continued: "The ban on rallies and demonstrations is being extended due to the epidemic. A few days ago, we held a press conference for martyr Deniz Poyraz and hundreds of soldiers were sent to prevent us from holding it. I told them that it was illegal to stop us and reminded them that the governor issues prohibitions arbitrarily.”

Akdoğan noted that special policies against the youth of Gever were in effect, and added: "Drugs are distributed to young people in Gever under state control. There are attacks against young people, they lead many young women to prostitution. Police and state forces have been appointed for this. In many places, we have also seen the police threaten young people. Our youth should protect themselves from such policies and not let them destabilize our city."