Hakkari Municipal Council rejects the usurper, elects an acting co-mayor

Rejecting the usurper in Hakkari Municipality, DEM Party Municipal Council members unanimously elected Viyan Tekçe as the acting co-mayor of the municipality.

The Hakkari Municipality won by the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) in 31 March local elections was usurped by a government-appointed trustee on 3 June. Co-Mayor Mehmet Sıddık Akış, whose office was usurped by the decision of the Turkish Ministry of Interior, was arrested with a prison sentence of 19 years and 6 months in a case that has been ongoing for 10 years. While the blockade of the municipality building continues, the elected DEM Party members of the Municipal Council convened on Friday. In the meeting held at the party's provincial building, the council members rejecting the usurper issued a declaration and elected an acting co-mayor of the municipality. The municipality council unanimously elected Viyan Tekçe, the elected co-mayor, as the acting co-mayor of the municipality.

Reading the declaration, DEM Party Deputy Co-Chair for Organisation, Vezir Coşkun Parlak, stated that the people of Hakkari had clearly demonstrated their attitude against fraud and tyranny in the 31 March elections and that the people of the city had always protected their will.

Parlak stated that the people responded on 31 March to those who used all kinds of pressure and force apparatus and furthermore engaged in the immorality of offering bribes. He continued: “This attitude had also been manifested against the trustee nominated by the government on 31 March 2019. In those elections, those who relied on the trustee were beaten by the people in the ballot boxes. Forgetting all these experiences and resorting to the same ways again is a manifestation of the state of crisis experienced by the ruling partners. Following the detention of our Co-Mayor, Mehmet Sıddık Akış, Hakkari Governor was appointed as a trustee to the municipality in accordance with a statement from the Ministry of Interior. The fact that such a decision was made without waiting for the decision of the court on 5 June is proof that the decision in question was taken with political motives."

Reacting to Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan's remark ‘The law did what was necessary,’ Parlak said: “The law is not applied in Hakkari. The law is not applied to Kurds. Resorting to the method of usurpation through trustees, which has long been tried but has not yielded any results, and has been proven to cause damage, brings with it great irresponsibility in terms of today's Turkey. Equipping the second century of the Republic with antidemocratic practices and methods like the first century undermines the hope and construction of a democratic Turkey. The peoples' demand is clear; a Turkey where democracy prevails, law is supreme and the peoples govern themselves, Kurdish, Turkish and all other ethnic identities and beliefs live together freely."

Pointing out that the councillors, the elected will of the municipality, do not accept the usurper, Parlak said: “There is only one place we are based on, and that is our people. It is our greatest responsibility to protect the mandate of will given by our people to our council members. With this responsibility and consciousness, we came together with our Hakkari Municipality Council members today and made some decisions to protect the will of the people of Hakkari. What should happen in a Turkey, where legal norms are applied is that the municipal council elects an acting mayor from within itself after the arrest decision. For this reason, we have elected our co-mayor Viyan Tekçe as the acting mayor as a result of the vote we held as the municipal council after the suspension of our Hakkari Municipality Co-Mayor Mehmet Sıddık Akış."

Underlining their determination to continue to resist and protect the will of the people, Parlak said, “Those who usurped those seats by hiding behind tens of thousands of soldiers and police officers will not be recognised by the people and will be remembered with shame throughout history. The will of the people of Hakkari is the elected Mehmet Sıddık Akış and Viyan Tekçe. The will of the people is the elected municipal council. This will will always be here and will continue to protect the rights of the people. We will continue to resist until our struggle ends in victory."

Viyan Tekçe, who was elected as acting Co-Mayor, stated the following: "We are on the 5th day of the coup against our people. Mehmet Sıddık Akış's case is a trap and conspiracy case. This government, which does not recognise the laws, should reverse its decision and our co-mayor should be reinstated. The municipality is just a building for us. For 5 years, we will be with our people and serve them. We promise this to our people. We conducted election work under very difficult conditions and made a great effort. We will not give up, and we are here with our people."