Last 10 kilometres in the ‘Respect for the Will’ march from Van to Hakkari

The ‘Respect for the Will’ march, which was started in protest at the usurpation of Hakkari Municipality, is about to reach its final destination. The participants called for a united struggle against the usurper mentality.

A 6-day 'Respect for the Will March' from Van to Hakkari was launched on 3 July in protest at the appointment of a trustee on 3 June to Hakkari Municipality won by the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) in the 31 March local elections.

The legitimate and democratically elected mayor, Mehmet Sıddık Akış, who ran for the DEM party in the local elections on 31 March and was elected with almost 49 percent of the vote despite massive attempts at fraud and the deployment of thousands of soldiers as "ghost voters", was removed from office and sentenced to almost 20 years in prison in a political terror trial for supporting the PKK. The municipality was usurped by a government-appointed trustee on 3 June despite the determination of the other elected co-mayor, Viyan Tekçe, as interim mayor by the city council.

There are 10 kilometres left for the participants to reach the centre of Hakkari. DEM Party Co-Chair Tülay Hatimoğulları, DBP Co-Chair Keskin Bayındır, HDP Co-Chair Cahit Kırkazak, DEM Party components, co-mayors, councillors and nearly 500 citizens have participated in the march.

HDK Istanbul Provincial Co-spokesperson Ali Bal said, "This is a march of objection against the policies of the government all over the country. It is also a march against the trustee regime. It is an objection against femicide, ecocide and isolation. The AKP-MHP government is usurping the will of the people through a coup. We will never accept this. This march has been a hope for the development of a united struggle and we will realise this step."

DEM Party MP Burcugül Çubuk said, "We thank those who came from all over the country to take part in this march. We are facing a trustee regime that forced us to march and made us realise our strength again. They are afraid of everything that the people of Kurdistan have achieved with their will. Hakkari is not far from Izmir and Istanbul. Because everything that is done in Kurdistan will also be done here. As peoples, we will continue to struggle against the trustees with the slogan 'Jin, jiyan, azadî' [Woman, Life, Freedom]. The trustee ergime is the usurpation of the Kurdish people's right to elect and be elected. We will continue to struggle against this usurpation with all our people."

After the statement, the march continued. The participants, who will stop at two points during the day, will make a mass press statement in the city centre at 16.00.