DEM Party Co-Chair Tülay Hatimoğulları: This picture will go down in history

DEM Party Co-Chair Tülay Hatimoğulları accused the Turkish government of denying Kurds their civil rights and declaring them a threat to national security, saying that Turkey is being thrown back into the Middle Ages.

At her party's parliamentary group meeting in Ankara on Tuesday, the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) Co-Chair Tülay Hatimoğulları accused the Turkish government of denying Kurds their civil rights and throwing Turkey back into the Middle Ages. The politician referred to MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli's demand for a state takeover of DEM-governed municipalities and said: “This practice tells the Kurdish people that ‘You do not have the right to elect and be elected, you are not full citizens of this country’. They are telling the Kurds, the people and democratic forces in solidarity with them: ‘You are a national security problem’. They are saying this to millions of people."

‘Political coup accompanied by military force’

Tülay Hatimoğulları said that she travelled to Hakkari after the usurpation of the city administration and witnessed how the people resisted the political coup. She showed a photo of the police and military deployment in the province and said: “This is what it looks like in front of the governor's office. They say, ‘we are against the military junta’, but look, the military is here. The political coup they carried out in Hakkari was accompanied by the military. In this photograph is the signature of the AKP, which was supposedly victimised by the military junta regime. This picture will go down in history, it will not be forgotten.”

Mayor deposed and arrested

The governor of Hakkari was appointed as the mayor of the municipality by the Turkish Ministry of the Interior last week. The democratically elected mayor, Mehmet Sıddık Akış, who received almost 49 percent of the vote in the local elections in March despite massive attempts at fraud and the deployment of thousands of soldiers as mobile voters, was removed from office and sentenced to almost 20 years in prison in a fictitious terror trial. This is the third time that this process has been repeated in Hakkari. In Turkey, Kurdish municipalities have been placed under trustee since 2016 after every election success of pro-Kurdish parties, and the elected mayors are arrested and removed from office.

‘Are the residents in Hakkari not people?’

Remarking that Turkish president Tayyip Erdoğan legitimises the action as an allegedly legal decision, Hatimoğulları stated: "Erdoğan says the decision of the judiciary should not worry anyone. Mr President, why are you worried about the Kurdish people's election decision on 31 March? Come out and explain it to the Turkish public. Explain what is behind the appointment of a trustee.”

Tülay Hatimoğulları recalled Erdoğan’s remarks immediately after the elections that the will of the voters must be embraced, saying: ‘Are the residents of Hakkari not the people? Do they become people only when they vote for you? Are they not people when they make political decisions in favour of other parties? Doesn't that will belong to the people? Yes, Erdoğan has already expressed his approach on this issue once again by supporting the trustees and paving the way for them.”