Abdullah Zeydan of DEM Party reinstated as mayor of Van

The resistance from all over Turkey, especially in Kurdistan, yielded results. The Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) gave the certificate of election to the elected DEM Party Metropolitan Municipality Co-Mayor Abdullah Zeydan.

As a result of the resistance of the Kurdish people, their friends and democratic public opinion, the Supreme Electoral Board (YSK) was forced to return the certificate of election unlawfully granted to the AKP candidate to the democratically elected Metropolitan Municipality Co-Mayor Abdullah Zeydan of the DEM Party.

The DEM Party filed an objection to the YSK against the Provincial Election Board's decision to give the certificate of election to the AKP candidate. The YSK, which took the objection on its agenda today, decided to return the certificate of election to Zeydan. 

Abdullah Zeydan commented on the YSK decision, saying, "We have been given back the certificate of election that we are entitled to. We salute the support and will of our people. We bow with respect in front of this upright stance and struggle of our people."


The Peoples’ Democracy and Equality Party (DEM Party) achieved a historic victory in the local elections held on March 31, 2024, in Van. The people of Van province entrusted all fourteen municipalities, including the Metropolitan Municipality, to the DEM Party, establishing it as the leading party in the Provincial General Assembly by a significant margin. In the Metropolitan Municipality, where the DEM Party received 55% of the vote and the AKP just 27%, elected DEM Party Co-Mayor of Van Metropolitan Municipality, Abdullah Zeydan, has been denied office and replaced by the AKP candidate.

The illegal action against Zeydan was taken despite the fact that he completed all requisite legal procedures and successfully secured candidacy approval from the Supreme Election Board (YSK) after rigorous scrutiny. He garnered substantial support from the people of Van and was duly elected together with Neslihan Şedal.

However, merely five minutes before the close of business on Friday, March 29, 2024, and a mere two days before the election, the Ministry of Justice, via an administrative decision and correspondence, contested the legal credentials of Zeydan, who had been restored his full civil rights by a court decision when released from prison in 2022. Following Friday’s administrative decision and objection letter, which was essentially a directive, the authorized prosecutor's office resubmitted the matter to the court that had issued the decision to restore his civil rights two years ago. That same day, the court revoked their own previous decision and dismissed Zeydan’s civil rights application; and they pre-emptively informed the YSK prior to the formalisation of their new reversed decision, thus curtailing the right to object and appeal.

The very court that had initially ruled in favor of restoring the civil rights of Abdullah Zeydan reversed its decision.

The unlawful action against Zeydan was met with protests, starting from Van and spreading to the entire Kurdish region. People have been taking to the streets for two days in protest at the usurpation of the will of the people of Van. In addition to the Kurdish politics and population, democratic circles from Turkey and abroad also expressed their support for Zeydan against attempts to deny the will of the Kurdish voters.