Resistance continues in Hakkari: People should stand up everywhere!

DEM and DBP co-chairs who participated in the protests in Hakkari said that the trustee regime in Kurdistan and Turkey is a conspiracy against the people, calling on people to stand up and resist.

Memet Sıddık Akış, the elected co-mayor of Hakkari, was removed by Erdoğan’s regime in an illegal political coup on 3 June. Akış was then inexplicably sentenced to 19.5 years in prison based on “secret false witness” statements made 14 years ago. The file, which was not opened during all these years, was suddenly reopened and Akış was sentenced in a matter of two days.

Following the detention of Akış and the appointment of a trustee to the municipality, the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) started a vigil in front of the municipalities it won in the 31 March local elections.

While the protests against the seizure of the municipality in Hakkari continue across the country, DEM Party co-chairs Tülay Hatimoğulları and Tuncer Bakırhan, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chairs Keskin Bayındır and Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar took to the streets after meeting with civil society organisations in Hakkari and met with the people.

Co-chairs and hundreds of people marched through the streets of the city, frequently chanting ‘Long live the resistance of Hakkari, ‘Kurdistan will be the grave of fascism’, ‘We will win by resisting’. Many trade unions and political parties also supported the march, as well as the residents of the city.

Speaking after the march, DBP Co-Chair Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar said: “The trustee is a historical thing. Kurds are being subjected to lawlessness. This practice has spread not only in Kurdistan but all over Turkey in the form of lawlessness, injustice and poverty. Starting in 2016, the burden of trustee appointments is now on the shoulders of all of Turkey. The president of this country said: ‘Kurds were marginalised by wrong state policies. We embraced them with sincerity'. Everyone knows very well that this is not true.

Two days after this speech, they made their policies clear by appointing a trustee to Hakkari, the memory of the Kurdish people's resistance. We have witnessed what has been going on here for three days. We are in a city where the law enforcement is engaged in the organization of prostitution, special warfare and drugs. A trustee is appointed for the third time in this city with a budget of 135 million liras. We are in a city where the AKP organised elections with the budget of the municipality. The trustee left huge debts in many places and destroyed Kurdish gains. This is not something that only the trustee did. They did this together with the state. We will stand against the trustee regime wherever we are. The trustee regime in Kurdistan and Turkey is a conspiracy against the people. We will resist against the futurelessness left by the trustee.”

Speaking afterward, DEM Party co-chair Tuncer Bakırhan said, “A coup is taking place here, accompanied by the deployment of the military. These measures are usually taken by those who are guilty. Here, too, they are the ones who are doing wrong. And you call this democracy and the results of the ballot box. Erdoğan said after the election that they would respect the results, but he did not respect the will of the people of Hakkari. This is not democracy. This is not recognising the Kurdish will. This is a trustee coup. This is a dual law. We ignore those who ignore the results of the ballot boxes. We do not recognise your usurpation of the municipalities that were won by the people. The Kurdish people will never forget what you have done. When there is an election, our people will call you to account for this.”

EMEP Deputy Chairperson Selma Gürkan said, “They gave a try in Van and they failed. Now, they are doing it here. Mehmet Sıddık Akış was dismissed and sentenced by the decision of the government. DEM Party members were not sentenced for theft and shamelessness. But the trustees committed theft and irregularities. Many AKP mayors have looted the resources of the municipality. This order will not continue like this. Trusteeship is not a situation that concerns only Hakkari. If the trustee is successful here, no municipality in Turkey is safe. This government is a problem of democracy and we need to eliminate this problem."

Speaking on behalf of the Federation of Socialist Assemblies, Erdal Ataş said, “We will not abandon any won positions to them. The resistance here will bring great success in labour, women's struggle, ecology, youth and every field. No matter what they do, our struggle will continue."

DBP co-chair Keskin Bayındır said: “We will resist, we will do this under the leadership of women and youth. They cannot stand in front of the will of this people. Our people should protect their will, not only here but everywhere. Our people should stand up and resist. The will here should spread everywhere. We appeal to the conscience of the Kurdish people: the day is the day to claim their language, land and will.”