Vigil against usurpation of Hakkari Municipality launched in Van

A sit-in protest was started in front of Van Metropolitan Municipality against the usurpation of Hakkari Municipality.

The Hakkari Municipality won by the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) in the 31 March local elections was usurped by a government-appointed trustee on 3 June. Co-Mayor Mehmet Sıddık Akış, who was removed from office 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.

As reactions and actions against the political coup of the government continue, the DEM Party started a vigil in Van against the usurpation of Hakkari Municipality on Thursday.

The vigil is taking place in the yard of Van Metropolitan Municipality, where a banner reading "No passage to trustees and fascism. Recognise the will of the people" in Kurdish and Turkish was hung.

Democratic Regions Party (DBP) provincial and district organisations, Free Women’s Movement (TJA), Association for Assistance to Families of Prisoners and Convicts (TUHAY-DER), Association for Assistance and Solidarity with Those Who Lost Their Relatives in the Cradle of Civilisations (MEBYA-DER), Association for Language and Culture Research (ARSİSA), Labour and Democracy Platform, Peace Mothers' Council members, representatives of many non-governmental organisations and a number of residents participated in the protest on its first day.

Speaking at the vigil, DEM Party Provincial Co-Chair Veysi Dilekçi said, "The basic policy of the AKP-MHP government is lawlessness. The trustee regime also means not recognising the will of the Kurdish people."

Appealing to the opposition and lawyers, Dilekçi said, "Appointment of trustees means an economic crisis in this country. It means unemployment and lawlessness. For this reason, the trustee appointed to the Hakkari municipality should not be accepted. The issue of trustees is not a problem of the Kurdish people alone. Today, citizens in many metropolises are committing suicide because they cannot make a living. The lawlessness applied to Kurds today will spread to the whole country tomorrow."

Noting that vigils were started in front of the DEM Party municipalities against the usurpation, Dilekçi said, "Trustee appointments are a coup d'état. The AKP-MHP government should respect the will of the people. The people gave the biggest answer to the trustees in the March 31 elections. Electing the DEM Party candidates in all 14 municipalities in Van, our people gave a political answer to the trustees. Opposing trustee appointments is to protect the future of our children."

Dilekçi stated that they would continue the sit-in protest in front of the Metropolitan Municipality every day between 17.00-21.00.

The slogans "Colemêrg ya me ye rûmeta me ye" [Hakkari is ours and our honor] and "Trustees will go, people will come" were frequently chanted during the protest.