DEM Party appoints Ferah Solmaz co-mayor of Batman

In order to maintain the chairmanship rule, the DEM Party has appointed Ferah Solmaz co-mayor of Batman. He joined Gülistan Sönük.

Ferah Solmaz is the new co-mayor of Batman (Êlih). Mustafa Mesut Tekik, co-chair of the local DEM Party, announced this at a press conference at the party headquarters on Friday.

In the local elections held last 31 March, DEM politician Gülistan Sönük was elected mayor of Batman with a large majority. The DEM party received 64 percent of the votes. Ferah Solmaz was elected to the city council. During the election campaign, the DEM separated from the previously nominated co-mayor candidate, Mehdi Öztüzün, due to fundamental differences of opinion. The DEM has run with co-candidates everywhere, as the principle of gender-equal dual leadership applies in all party committees. In order to live up to this principle, Ferah Solmaz has now been appointed to office alongside Gülistan Sönük.

The co-mayor system was declared illegal by the Diyarbakır Administrative Court in October 2014. When the mayors in almost all Kurdish municipalities were arrested and replaced by trustees after the 2016 coup attempt, the co-chairs system was cited as one of the reasons for this. The Turkish state only recognizes one person as mayor.