"Respect the Will" March continues on 7th day

For a week, a protest march has been heading from western Turkey to Hakkari to demand recognition of the will of the voters.

For a week, the "Respect the Will" March has been heading from western Turkey to the southeast to demand recognition of the will of the voters in the Kurdish region.

The destination of the march is the Kurdish resistance stronghold of Hakkari (Colemêrg), which was again placed under compulsory state administration at the beginning of June.

The legitimate and freely elected mayor, Mehmet Sıddık Akış, who ran for the DEM party in the local elections in 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 after two months and sentenced to almost 20 years in prison in a political terror trial for supporting the PKK.

The Turkish Ministry of the Interior has transferred the official business to a trustee, despite the appointment of DEM politician Viyan Tekçe as interim mayor by the city council.

Break in Van on Friday

The participants in the protest march spent Friday night in the province of Van and set off from Başkale (Elbak) on Saturday morning towards Hakkari.

Among the approximately 350 participants are co-mayors and deputies of the DEM as well as representatives of civil society organizations and politicians from other parties. After about four kilometers, a stop was made to make a statement about the action.

Feray Mertoğlu, co-chair of the SYKP (Party for Socialist Reconstruction), told journalists that the march against the trustees is continuing despite massive obstruction by the state. "For three electoral periods, Kurds have been denied the right to vote and to stand for election. In order to preserve its own comfort, the government does not allow the Kurdish population to govern itself and elect its own mayors. The compulsory administration in Kurdistan is a result of the refusal to resolve the Kurdish question by democratic means. People, including the revolutionary and bourgeois opposition, must not remain silent about this. If we remain silent, women will be locked in their homes, workers will be unemployed and nature will be destroyed." 


Eight years of compulsory administration in Kurdish communities

In 2016 and 2017, 95 elected mayors in Kurdish communities were deposed by the Turkish Ministry of the Interior and 93 of them were imprisoned. After the 2019 local elections, 48 ​​elected mayors were removed from office and 39 of them were arrested. After the local elections on March 31, 2024, it has now hit Mehmet Sıddık Akış. It cannot be ruled out that other mayors from the DEM party are on the government's hit list. Numerous former elected representatives from Turkey now live in exile in Europe.